Sunday 3rd May Easter 4 – Prayers, Bible Reading and Reflection

Lord we’re called to Psalm worship you, however every so often we discover it hard.
We are known as to respond in your love and to serve those in want, however once in a while we
just don’t see.
We are known as to assist construct heaven in the world, but we stumble at the first step.
So, loving God help us this day to worship with all our being.
Open our minds and our hearts on your love and forgiveness.
Fill us with a sense of cause, a sense of belonging, a experience of calling.
So that as we pray, as we examine scripture and ponder on what it would suggest for us, may also
we hear your nonetheless small voice deep in our hearts and can your spirit be upon us.
The Lord’s Prayer
Bible readings:
Psalm 23 The Divine Shepherd – a Psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall no longer want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside nonetheless waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even even though I stroll via the darkest valley,
I worry no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your body of workers—
they consolation me.
5 You put together a desk before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall comply with me
all the days of my existence,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
my entire lifestyles lengthy.
John 10:1-10 Jesus the Good Shepherd
10 “Very simply, I inform you, everybody who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but
climbs in by means of some other manner is a thief and a bandit. 2 The one that enters by the gate is the
shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen
his voice. He calls his very own sheep by way of call and leads them out. 4 When he has introduced
out all his very own, he is going beforehand of them, and the sheep comply with him due to the fact they recognise his
voice. 5 They will no longer observe a stranger, however they will run from him because they do no longer
recognize the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this determine of speech with them, but they
did no longer understand what he changed into announcing to them.
7 So once more Jesus said to them, “Very virtually, I inform you, I am the gate for the sheep. Eight All
who came before me are thieves and bandits; however the sheep did no longer listen to them. Nine
am the gate. Whoever enters by me can be saved, and could come in and exit and find
pasture. 10 The thief comes simplest to scouse borrow and kill and spoil. I got here that they may
have existence, and have it abundantly.”
Someone (I don’t know who) as soon as said:
‘The Word of God speaks to us, however the Psalms talk for us’.
I think this is actual. I actually have shared with a number of you before my love of the book of
Psalms and maybe it is for this reason. Somehow the words contained inside those
ancient songs and poems provide voice to a number of my thoughts and feelings as I journey
with faith and try to make feel of the world I find myself in.
Today’s Psalm might be the satisfactory recognised of the entire Psalter. Psalm 23. I suspect that
lots of us ought to recite some of the lines (if not all) from reminiscence. The Psalm displays
some thing of David‘s lifestyles at his workplace on a hillside encountering God, the Divine
Shepherd, within the stillness of nature and amidst the turmoil of his lifestyles.
These historic, timeless phrases nonetheless talk into our situation these days. The herbal world
feels, I suppose, a bit greater nonetheless and peaceful at gift as it isn’t so ‘interrupted’ through
human, industrial and technological activity. And yet, as a world, we’re nevertheless in turmoil
as we respond to the Covid-19 disaster and the effect it’s miles having on our day by day residing.
I don’t know plenty approximately shepherding however I’m guessing that it isn’t (and never has been)
a materially beneficial business but, on the other hand, I think it’s far especially time wealthy.
So, even as discharging his shepherding obligations I’m imagining that David would
have had time to suppose and replicate and I suspect that that’s wherein a number of the seventy three
Psalms that he wrote began lifestyles – out on the hillside, phrases forming into terms in his
head as he labored and contemplated at the things of God. I suspect that for lots of us we
have a touch extra time on our hands than we’re used to – this may be a undertaking to us,
however it would additionally carry a richness to our days that we hadn’t formerly been aware about.
Maybe today, as we stay a more restrained way of life, these phrases of David’s would possibly simply
clearly talk to us. There is an historical exercise of reading scripture referred to as Lectio
Divina. Taken from the Latin those phrases are possibly great translated as that means
‘sacred studying’ and the exercise encourages us to read scripture slowly and
thoughtfully and dwell on the phrases in a meditative way. Just allowing them to sink in.
So, I inspire you to sit down effectively both through an open window or outside or with
some illustration of the natural global in your view. And study Psalm 23 slowly, line by using
line. Pause in case you want to. Let your imaginative and prescient and your thoughts wander thoughtfully. Reflect on
what you’re reading. You could ask your self one of the following questions:
Where are the equal of David’s ‘inexperienced pastures’ and ‘nevertheless waters’ for me?
Where are the ‘proper paths’?
Where does my existence ‘overflow’ and nonetheless, in those difficult times, show symptoms of ‘abundance’
(to apply a phrase from today’s gospel reading)?
Where are the ‘darkest valleys’ and times after I want to be soothed via the comfort of
God’s presence?
This week the message is straightforward – let David’s words emerge as our personal as we
reflect on wherein we’re for my part and as a community. May we know the protection of
the Good Shepherd who has given his lifestyles for us and, as we maintain to journey thru
this Easter season, may additionally we be privy to the considerable new lifestyles this is at the coronary heart of
our religion.
Prayers of intercession
Amongst uncertainty about the destiny, we appearance to you, Lord God.
Amongst doubt, and fear and a desire to still respond to your name, we appearance to you, Lord
Show us how we will reply to a global in need.
We spend a second now, in quiet, bringing before you the conditions on our hearts and
minds which we want to hope for.
In the quiet, pay attention our prayers, Lord Jesus.
We pray for all those laid low with Covid-19, and all concerned in responding to that virus,
all the ones ‘on the front line’.
By your grace, Lord Jesus, come amongst us.
Comforter and healer God, we pray for all who have been these days bereaved.
By your grace, comfort the ones people who weep.
May we be an answer to prayer these days, in a few mysterious manner.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
A message from our District Chair – Rev Andrew de Ville
Before a last prayer and blessing I desired to percentage with you a message from
Andrew and our District Synod to people in our neighborhood church buildings within the District. Andrew
I would really like to add my very own private way to you all for your Circuits, for the
graciousness that you have proven in these difficult and hard instances. We are very
lots in unchartered waters and so it’s miles very difficult to recognize a way to be God’s holy human beings
at this time however, from the Superintendents and others, I actually have heard many examples of
the way that the Methodist humans have supported and recommended each other, in reality
being Christ’s Church at this time.
Thank you for presenting pastoral care, for sharing in worship, and for attaining out to
buddies and strangers to your communities. My prayer is that, as we travel on, every one
people experiences the presence of God who strengthens us, offers us peace and through
whose Spirit we may additionally recognise ourselves loved.
The paintings of the District keeps through our District Officers and I want to thank
them also for their ministry that is being shaped in a unique way to assist you all.
As we’ve got travelled through the activities of Lent, Holy Week and Easter I have been
reminded of the vulnerability of Christ as he spoke back to the ones round him, mainly
because the events of his death and resurrection drew near. So, at times whilst we is probably
feeling vulnerable ourselves, allow us to understand that Christ identifies with us in our
vulnerability, and, enabled by means of the Spirit, enables us to preserve to offer ourselves as
channels of the Father’s love to the world.
Closing phrases and Blessing
Know then that God is with you, at the same time as the times look distinct.
Ask what you may do to make God’s state actual for someone via what you do:
prayer, chat, safe acts of kindness.
Know God is at paintings. Amen.
And may additionally the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with us at the moment and all
the ones we recognise and love, now and forevermore. Amen.

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