St. Mary's Church

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Fifth Sunday of Easter

9 May 2020 • General news

Readings

Acts 7:55-60

55 But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58 Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.[a]

1 Peter 2:2-10

2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

4 Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5 like living stones, let yourselves be built[a] into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in scripture:

“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him[b] will not be put to shame.”

7 To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejectedhas become the very head of the corner,”

8 and

“A stone that makes them stumble,and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,[c] in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10 Once you were not a people,but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,but now you have received mercy.

John 14:1-14

Jesus the Way to the Father

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe[a] in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b]3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.”[c]5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know[d] my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[e] for anything, I will do it.

Sermon for Easter 5 (Tony Thistlewood)

The moment when truth suddenly dawns has several names......a lightbulb, Eureka or Aha moment. In our gospel reading today we sense that Phillip isn't quite there yet. He seems to be looking for a clinching argument; one of those people who needs explanations, lots of words to help him get over his doubts.

What Jesus offers him is simple evidence of who he is. “The Father who dwells in me does his works”. Through an ordinary man from a provincial town, an unsophisticated Jew, Jesus is saying God has drawn very near to you.

Then Phillip is left to reflect on the “works” he has seen Jesus do.

It's interesting to add Luke's particular insight, which is that Jesus stands up for others; he's with anyone who is trampled, rejected or defenceless. Luke includes women. Thirteen of them are mentioned only in Luke's gospel. I think we can see the nature of Luke's Aha moment.

A parallel in our own time might be the subject of the NHS. For a long time before Covid-19 came along, many words were spilled in discussions and arguments about the future of the NHS. Then suddenly we're reminded how important the work of the NHS is and how dangerous it can be for its workers.

Our Prime minister on Easter Sunday, just after his recovery from the illness, described the NHS as “the beating heart of this country....powered by love”.

It sounds like the kind of moment when a powerful experience provides the simple yet powerful evidence of what's important, trumping all the wordy arguments.

When we let Jesus take over our lives, we have to let the straightforward evidence of his life push our doubts and confusions out of the way. So often we think the “real me” is in fact someone pumped full of others' people's ideas, habits formed by our background perhaps. Saul was such a person. He watched Stephen being stoned to death. Confusion and doubt set in at that point and then came his lightbulb moment, a devastating experience on the road to Damascus.

May Jesus make his home in all our hearts, through faith. Amen.


Prayers for 10 May 20205th Sunday of Easter

Lord, you tell us not to be troubled and to trust in you. Be near us now as we bring before you all that is on our hearts.

Lord we pray for our church community here in Walsgrave and across the Diocese of Coventry. Continue to support and inspire those leading us on our journey of faith. We give thanks for the innovative ways of bringing worship into our homes. Help us to feel connected to each other through our love for you.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Lord we pray for every corner of the world touched by this pandemic – a disease that knows no borders. We watch and listen to the news filled with numbers, names and places. Be close to us in our fear and anxiety. May our government and all nations to work together to find long term solutions to this crisis. Give them clarity in their thinking and wisdom in their decision making. Help them all to act with a true concern for the wellbeing of the people they serve.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we pray for our families and friends. We think especially of those we cannot see, touch or spend time with as we would like to. We pray for those we miss at work, in our community and those whose company we enjoy. Give us patience until we can meet again. Help us to be a good neighbour supporting the elderly and vulnerable who live close by. Prompt us to think of others before ourselves.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we pray for all our frontline workers and their dedication to their job in serving others. We think especially of those working in care homes and residential schools. We give thanks for those who are living away from their own families so that they can safely care for someone else. Give them the energy and strength necessary to deal with this situation day after day.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we pray for all those who are sick or suffering at this time. Not just those with the coronavirus but those who have other illnesses and conditions needing ongoing treatment such as cancer. We think especially of those with mental health difficulties exacerbated by the current situation. Touch them with your healing hand and restore them to good health.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Lord we pray for all those recently departed. We pray for those whose hearts have been saddened by the death of someone close and dear to them. Help them experience the comfort of your Holy Spirit as they grieve. Give them the hope of a brighter tomorrow and a deep understanding that their loved one is at peace with you. We give thanks that you went to prepare a place for us all and wait to welcome us to your heavenly kingdom.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord, be with us as we face another week at home staying safe and protecting those around us. Help us to find joy in the life you have given us, to be thankful for each new day and show us the way so that we may draw closer to you.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen


Morning Prayer week beginning 11/5/20

Dmitry and I would like to invite any one who wants to join us to share in Morning Prayer via Zoom.

We shall say Morning Prayer at 9.30am Monday -Thursday.

What you need to do to join in

Download the zoom app. Google zoom and follow the instructions to download the app which is fairly straightforward to use. To join the meetings you will need the following information

Date Meeting number Password
11.5.20 9.30am 815 2869 5504 028326
12.5.20 9.30am 834 8223 4744 011624
13.5.20 9.30am 847 3198 9509 028732
14.5.20 9.30 894 5140 3985 014182

On Wednesday we shall extend the meeting to have a virtual coffee morning if people would like to do that.

Some tips

Dmitry and I have learnt that having lots of people speak at the same time (ie for the responses) is very confusing.There is a very short delay and people’s internet connections vary so that voices don’t come at the same time.As a consequence during Morning Prayer itself I will mute everybody except Dmitry and myself so that you can respond without causing others to wonder what’s going on.As we get used to it Dmitry and I will take turns to lead but we hope that we may be able to ask others in due course to read lessons and lead the prayers. Don’t worry about not having the words of the service in front you.Zoom has the facility to allow the host to share screens so the words can come up on your tablet/computer automatically.

We will see how we go.