Easter 4 – Online Liturgy

Finding Pasture

Sunday, May 3, 2020 | Easter | Fourth Sunday of Easter Year A   

First Reading         Acts 2:42–47
Psalm                    Psalm 23
New Testament     1 Peter 2:19–25
Gospel                   John 10:1–10

Finding pasture 

John 10.1-10
Jesus speaks of a shepherd whose sheep know his voice and follow him away from danger. The Pharisees do not understand that Jesus is referring to himself. He also says that he is the gate of the sheepfold, and whoever enters by him will be saved.

This week’s resources explore: what it means to have abundant life.

Luke 24.13-35

Two disciples walk back from Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus. They are in despair about the death of Jesus. Jesus appears and walks beside them, but they do not recognise him. He teaches them from the Scriptures, and they see who he is when he breaks bread with them.

This week’s resources explore: how Jesus takes time to explain his own story.

Pre-Service

TIS #655 – “Spirit Song”

Greeting

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
The Love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all
and also with us

We Gather

Jesus says, ‘I am the gate.’
Come, and be loved.
Come, and receive peace.
Come, and find life.

Let us pray
We come because we know we are welcome, O God.
We come in the name of Jesus.
We come because you call us by name, O God.
We come in the name of Jesus.
We come together to offer you our worship, O God.
We come in the name of Jesus.
Amen.

Hymn/song

Hillsong – The power of your love

Welcome

Let us pray
We come to you, O God, in penitence for what we have done.
We come to you in anticipation for what you offer to us.
We come to you in hope,
for we know you will give us abundant life.
Amen.

Readings

John 10:1-10 (NIV) Lumo Project gospel of John

respond
For the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Contemplative Video

Third Day – Let There Be Light

We say Sorry

Generous God, you offer us abundant life,
yet we ask for more;
you offer us security and sanctuary,
yet we seek our own way – despite the risks;
you offer us guidance and direction,
and we ignore you and take our own way.

We are sorry for our ingratitude.
We are sorry for our arrogance.
We are sorry that we think we know best.

Forgive us, renew us and restore us to abundant life in you,
in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

Hymn/Song

Hillsong Worship – “What A Beautiful Name”

Response

Hymn/song

TIS #659 – “The Lord is my Shepherd”

Prayers for all people

Invite people to sit quietly. Leave a pause after reading each phrase.

Remember and silently
For all time, and in whatever we face:
the Lord is our shelter, our security,
the place where we will find a home.

Thank you for abundant life;
thank you for your generous love.
Help us to love generously
that others may also experience the abundance of your life.

Loving God, we pray for those whose lives are empty;
for all who feel alone and unloved;
for those whose lives lack purpose.
Lord of love,
bring them abundant life.

We pray for those whose lives are filled with anger and bitterness;
for those who cannot let go of the past,
and so have no present or future.
Lord of love,
bring them abundant life.

We pray for those whose lives are filled with anguish and pain;
for those who suffer depression;
for those who are afraid to go out;
for those who cannot see a way forward.
Lord of love,
bring them abundant life.

We pray for those who live on the edge;
for those who watch others enjoy life but are unable to join the group;
for those who lack faith;
for those whom others ignore.
Lord of love,
bring them abundant life.

Loving God, may your abundant life
fill our world,
our church, our community and ourselves,
in the name of Jesus.
Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
AMEN

Hymn/song

P&W #40 – “The Steadfast Love of the Lord”

We are sent out

Go out into the world.
Go where God leads you.
Go that you may serve him.
And wherever you go, know that God is with you.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us
and keep us
May His face shine upon us
and be gracious to us
May he lift up His countenance upon us
and give us peace


Response

Thankless Jobs

John 10:1-21

Try and remember back when you could enjoy a day at the beach.
A family were at the beach
When a disheveled older lady appeared.
She would muttering to herself
as she picked up things from the beach and put them into a bag.
Concerned, the parents told their children to stay away from her.

As she passed by, she continued to bend down and then to pick things up.
She smiled at the family
but her they shunned her.
Some weeks later they read a piece in the press
About the old lady that had made it her lifelong crusade
to pick up bits of glass from the beach
so children wouldn’t cut their feet.

One example of a thankless task, wouldn’t you say?
There are lots of people in thankless jobs, aren’t there?
Oh there are others,
like being a caregiver,
working in nursing homes
a police officer.
In a sense, many jobs can be thankless tasks.
Any type of service work is thankless at times
and that includes many jobs in the church.

Bulletin editors (and webmasters) can have a tough time
With a hail of anguish at minor mistakes.
A recent hymn announcement said:
“Let All the World in Every Corner Sin.” (rather than sing!)
An update on a prayer request:
“Last time we asked for prayer for Jerry Butler’s foot.
After nine months of various treatments, it’s finally all gone.”
Poor Jerry!
From a newsletter:
“Reverend Hawley was congratulated
on being able to get his parish plastered.”
And:
“Miss Charlene Mason sang, I Will Not Pass This Way Again,’
giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.”
Any job in church can be a thankless job.
In fact, any job
where there is not much recognition, or you are taken for granted
can seem like a thankless job.

Thankless jobs.
Jobs without much of a payoff in money or recognition.
Repetitive jobs, boring jobs, repulsive jobs.

Being a shepherd was a thankless job.
In Palestine, even today
the shepherd with his long staff
walks in front of his flock and his sheep follow him.
The life of a shepherd was (and still is) is hard and they are never off duty.
The sheep would wander, and they needed to be watched constantly.
It was also dangerous Thieves, wild dogs and animals were a constant threat.

Being a shepherd was a thankless job, indeed.
But this is exactly how Christ portrayed himself
and it is often the most familiar image we have of Christ
even though the modern-day Australian sheep farmer
is a distinct stretch from that image
of a shepherd holding a lamb in his arms knowing its name by heart.
But a lamb is not a full-grown sheep.
Its wool is not wet and matted.
It is not one of 3,000 nor caught in a crevasse.

Maybe in this modern age we would be thinking of a dog or cat
responding to our call or whistle
and every mood change
dependent on us for their every need.

And the owner knows his pet.
Maybe they look remarkably similar to an untrained eye
but a good owner always knows their pet
and loves dearly loves them
if not despite then sometimes because of their imperfections.

Observing any pet owner
we can imagine how those that heard this parable the first time
would consider the Chief Shepherd,
a God who also knows the individual weaknesses and failings of His flock and watches over its members
with discerning love and sympathetic understanding.

Christ the Good Shepherd.
Taking over the thankless job of watching over his sheep,
taking the trouble to know them by name
and setting an example for us to follow.
because Christ not only knows us by name
but also calls us to follow his example.

Sarah’s son died.
Sarah’s husband died six months later.
She worked casual jobs and her beauty shop.
In this way, she supported her children.

It would have been natural for her to grieve and never recover
but Sarah resolved to show love and care
to children who had no one else to love them.
She became a foster mother,
and her home became a home to many young girls who needed her.

Every morning Sarah went to early Mass,
then came home and cooked breakfast for her foster children
before she worked.
At the end of her day she would bake bread
and gave away her loaves to churches, soup kitchens,
family, friends, neighbours in need.

One day, Sarah was given a surprise party by all the people that she had helped.
They lead her into the church,
and as she entered the church,
they all stood and clapped.
They then presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

Sarah walked to the front of the church
and gently placed the flowers in front of a statue of Mary with the baby Jesus. And she said softly,
“Here. These are yours.”

Christ set the example.
He is the Good Shepherd. He watches over his sheep.
He knows each of us by name.
He even lay his life in our behalf.

Now he calls us to take up the often thankless job
of dedicating our lives for others
with no other reward than this.
Someday to hear his voice say:
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

We serve others even as he serves us.

Amen

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