A short service for 10th May the Fifth Sunday after Easter

This is also Christian Aid Week

CHRIST our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast; Not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. 5v7

On Lent 3, 15th March, the last time we held public worship in St James’, I promised that whatever transpired I would celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday morning at 10am. If we couldn’t come to church people could gather round their kitchen/ dining room table either then or, at some other time in the day, to pray and break bread with those in their household who wished to join them. It would be an opportunity to share with the village in offering up prayers for themselves, their family this village and the world.

Today, the 5th Sunday of Easter, we hear of Jesus telling his disciples that he is the way, the truth and the life and that where he is we can be too. They are frightened and bewildered given all that has happened; they did not know what to think or do. Thomas again is the one who has to ask the question to be sure of what Jesus was saying. Jesus’ response is as true for us today. No one needs to be ashamed of their doubts; for in the end, those who seek will find. But we need time to seek. So often in our busy lives other things get in the way or take over. This has been a time for all of us to have some space and reflect. When things get back to normal, whatever that will be, we need to remember the things we missed and took for granted, and find time to keep them and Jesus at the forefront of our lives.

I offer this short service sheet for your use. Thanks to the continuing support from a friend who has supported me over the years with producing and recording public events and all those from the village who have been prepared to share their inner most thoughts. For those not on social media if you have a SMART TV you can watch YouTube on it!

The link is: https://youtu.be/L40WL1WLmWU

Throughout the Easter Season we begin our service by saying

Alleluia, Christ is risen. He is risen indeed Alleluia

If you have a candle you might like to place it on the table and light it.

Spend some time in silence reflecting on your hopes and fears for the future as hopefully tonight we will hear the beginnings of how the government see us returning to a more normal life. Also remember all those who gave their life in war as we “celebrate” the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War on Friday. Pray for all those you are separated from any you know who have Covid-19 and those who care for them. You can share these silently or out loud. Please remember especially Viv and the family of Brian Tabner, and the souls of Mary Lindsay and Bill Gent to be laid to their rest this week

Offer to God the things you are sorry for, the things you wished you hadn’t done and the things you have failed to do.

You could then all say together the Collect for Easter 5:

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ

have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

grant that, as by your grace going before us

you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help

we may bring them to good effect; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen

Reading for today

John 14 v 1-14

Do not be worried and upset,” Jesus told them. “Believe in God and believe also in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so. And after I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that you will be where I am. You know the way that leads to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; so how can we know the way to get there?”

Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me. Now that you have known me,” he said to them, “you will know my Father also, and from now on you do know him and you have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father; that is all we need.”

Jesus answered, “For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe, Philip, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I have spoken to you,” Jesus said to his disciples, “do not come from me. The Father, who remains in me, does his own work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. If not, believe because of the things I do. I am telling you the truth: those who believe in me will do what I do — yes, they will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the Father’s glory will be shown through the Son. 1f you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.

This is the word of the Lord Thanks be to God

The Sharing of Bread

We now know it will possibly be many more weeks before we can gather together in St James’ and share bread and wine. The church has no provision for the vicar celebrating the Eucharist with his own family whilst the rest of the congregation are in their own homes with their family breaking bread together; so as with so many things in this crisis we have invented one. This is not a Eucharist as we know it Sunday by Sunday. This is simply an opportunity to share together with loved ones and remember Jesus’ command to follow him as disciples of the crucified, risen and ascended Lord.

On the night Jesus was betrayed he had a very special meal with his family and friends where he broke bread and shared it with his friends. Since then in every conceivable human circumstance, people have found no better thing than this. For kings at their crowning and for of criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for a good crop of wheat; or for a sick old woman afraid to die. Today we break this bread in thanksgiving for all we have; for those suffering during this Covid-19 pandemic, and for wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help each of us make the world a better place in the future for all God’s people.

As you take the Bread, and break it say “Every time we break this bread we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us and that through his resurrection that he brings life and light to the world”

As you break bread this morning reflect on what you have learnt from 7 weeks of lock down and what you have missed. Pray for those who have found this a very difficult time and those who are fearful of the future.

Let everybody with you share the bread and reflect on their own lives and give thanks for all their blessings. Remember especially the work of Christian Aid protecting those who have least from storms, from drought, and now from coronavirus. Pray for our global neighbours battling the spread of this illness and help Christian Aid provides in getting them soap, clean water and medical supplies.

Share with each other what is in your heart, and your soul.

Say together the Lord’s Prayer in which ever version you prefer/are used to.

Our Father,who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory

for ever and ever. Amen.

A Concluding Prayer

Eternal God,

whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life:

grant us to walk in his way,

to rejoice in his truth,

and to share his risen life;

who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen

The Grace—hold hands and say the grace together

The Grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

If you would like a copy of this service sheet emailed to you every Saturday please send your email address to

vicar@stjameschurchforton.org.

To donate ring 020 7523 2269 or go online at:

https://www.christianaid.org.uk/give-money/make-donation

There are several people in the village offering help and support.

St James’ has a number of people who are able to help with shopping, collecting of medication and in any other way should you need it. We are also aware that there will be some in the village who are experiencing severe financial difficulties due to not being able to work. Whilst we don’t have limitless funds we may be able to help in a small way.

If you need help in any way please contact Peter our Vicar:

Eemail and telephone number below

Email vicar@stjameschurchforton.org Tel; 07970 923 141

If you would like the sheet to include the names of friends or realtives who are sick or any who have passed away please email them to Peter on the above email. There will be a service sheet for every week whilst we are unable to have public worship

Date for your diary:

The first Sunday we are able to hold public worship FOR ALL there will bea Champagne Reception at 9.45am followed by a huge service of celebration in church. Watch this space!

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