Sunday 29 April, 2018 – Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B

Here are the resources you need for this Sunday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

Altar colour: White

Bible readings:
FIRST READING Acts 8:26-40 Philip and the Ethiopian
PSALM Psalm 22:25-31*For musical settings of this Psalm, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING 1 John 4:7-21 Love one another, as God loved us
GOSPEL John 15:1-8 The true vine and the fruitful branches

Notes on the readings
ACTS 8:26-40: The Lord had indicated before his ascension that the gospel would be preached in Jerusalem, then in Judea and Samaria; and thence into all the world. The Jerusalem persecution dispersed Christians into the surrounding regions. Philip was involved in consolidating the work in Samaria. At its completion the Spirit directed him to seek out the Ethiopian emissary on the Gaza road on his return to his homeland. Having obtained a Greek language scroll of the Scriptures, the man was reading from Isaiah, chapter 53 vv 7,8. These verses in prophecy sum up Jesus’ ministry very nicely. Philip took the opportunity to expound the gospel to the eunuch on their basis. The conviction of faith was followed immediately by baptism upon the eunuch’s request. Notice that the new-found faith produced a transparent joy in this new believer. The gospel is seen to be starting to reach now into remoter regions of ‘the world’.

1 JOHN 4:7-21: God loves not because people are worthy of his love, but because that is the kind of God he is. To see that love means that we need to see ourselves as the objects of God’s wrath, and yet as people for whom Christ died. It is only in seeing his anger averted that we see what real love is. Seeing a God like that means we in turn recognise that we in the same way ought to love one another. Christians need to be growing in this love, for when love is perfected the fear of God disappears. It is in this that the Spirit uses the new life as an inner witness that our lives are changed, that we are the children of God (vv 13-16). Faith and love combine to breed a confidence in God’s goodwill over against judgment; which again reinforces the eradication of hatred (vv 19-21).

JOHN 15:1-8: The utter dependence of the Christian on Jesus for all spiritual life with God is brought out here. The picture of the vine brings to mind various Old Testament passages in which Israel is depicted as God’s vine. Jesus is productive for the Father as Israel was meant to be but never was. Believers are part of Jesus, as branches are to the vine, in such a way that all nourishment and life flow from him as sap does in the vine. Therefore nourishment ceases when that contact ceases. God, the vinedresser prunes (purifies) the vine in order to maximise production. While the disciples were already cleansed by Jesus’ teaching, yet continued pruning would continue to improve the fruit-bearing process. Prayer is both a sign of and an instrument in the energising process, the fruit-bearing being a proof of that discipleship.

Sermons:
Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon
Based on gospel : Pr Roger Atze ; edited for lay reading sermon – john 15 1-8 – year b – easter 5 ; edited for lay reading sermon – john 15 1-8 – year b – easter 5 ; Pr Vince Gerhardy ; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – john 15 1-8 – year b – easter 5 new
Based on first reading: Pr Tim Stringer
Based on second reading: Pr David Christian

Orders of service:
Easter Sunday Word & Prayer ( pdf / doc / ppt )
Service of the Word (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Morning Praise (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service orders with holy communion
Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt)
Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)

Opening Sentences
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God;
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 
(1 John 4:7 NRSV)

Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
Traditional
O God,
since you make the minds of the faithful
to be of one will:
Grant that your people
may love what you command
and desire what you promise,
that among the many changes of this world
our hearts may there be fixed
where true joys are to be found;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

OR, modernised traditional
Lord God,
you make the minds of the faithful
to be of one will.
Lead us to love what you command
and desire what you promise,
so that, among the changes of this world,
our hearts may be fixed where true joys are found.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

OR, alternative
(Let us pray that we may remain in Christ. [silence])
Loving heavenly Father,
you sent your Son Jesus Christ
to reconcile the world to yourself.
Strengthen our faith,
so that we remain united with him
and bear the fruit of love.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

OR, new
(Let us pray that we love others. [silence])
Merciful Father,
you have reached out to all people
through your Son Jesus,
who died for us all.
Encourage us to live as your chosen people
and give of ourselves to others.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

ALLELUIA VERSE
Alleluia.
(Since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again;
death no longer has any power over him.
Alleluia.)
(Jesus said:) If you abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  (John 15:7 NRSV)
Alleluia.

Prayer after the gospel:
This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ (, raised to live forever).
Lord Jesus, thank you for being the true vine
and making us your branches.
Keep us united to you
and help us to bear much fruit.
Amen.

Children’s Address: Easter 5B

Offering Prayer:
Loving heavenly Father,
thank you for giving us new life through your Son.
Make us fruitful branches of the true vine.
Help us to keep trusting in him
and to show your love
by loving other people.
Lead us to live in harmony with one another
and to help others in need.
Amen.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer:  Prayer of the Church – Easter 5B

Resources for services with Holy Communion
SEASONAL PREFACE
It is indeed right and good,
Lord God, holy Father,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
But most of all we praise you
for the glorious resurrection of your Son,
the true Passover Lamb,
who has taken away the sin of the world.
By his death he has destroyed death,
and by his rising again he has restored life.
And so, with Mary Magdalene and Peter
and all the other witnesses of the resurrection,
with earth and sea and all their creatures,
and with angels and archangels,
cherubim and seraphim,
we adore and praise your glorious name:

COMMUNION INVITATION
Jesus says: ‘Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.’
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Heavenly Father,
you gave your Son to die and raised him to give us eternal life.
Grant that we who have received his body and blood
may live in him and serve you as your children.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Alternatively, use the third prayer of the day (as listed above) at this point. It may be modified as follows.

Loving heavenly Father,
you sent your Son Jesus Christ
to reconcile the world to yourself.
As we have received his body and blood,
keep us united with him
so that we may bear the fruit of love.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

SEASONAL BLESSING
This seasonal blessing is used together with (ie before) the usual blessing in the order of service.

(May) the God of peace,
who raised from the dead our Lord Jesus,
provide you with every good thing you need
in order to do his will; . . .

DISMISSAL
Go in peace, and love one another.
Thanks be to God.
OR In the name of Christ. Amen.

Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures

Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH

First reading : Acts 8:26-40
LHS

217    O Christ, our true and only light* G5
221    Spread, O spread, thou mighty Word* G5 mod TIS 450
228    Lord Jesus Christ, the cause is Thine* G3
271    The gospel shows the Father’s grace G5
833    We praise you, Lord, for Jesus Christ G5
AT
118    The Baptism Song
421    Born forever
TIS
450    Spread, O spread almighty word
486    We praise you, Lord, for Jesus Christ

Second reading: 1 John 4:7-21
LHS

334    Lord, ’tis not that I did choose Thee* G3
344    Our God is love, and all His saints* G6
394    God is love; let heaven adore Him G9 mod TIS 153
783    Christ is the world’s light G6
791    O love how deep, how broad, how high (esp v 1,2,6,7) G5 see TIS 194
800    May we be one GS
853    A new commandment GS see TIS 699
859    Seek, O seek the Lord
AT
24    God’s love
47    O, how I love Jesus
65    A new commandment
172    May we be one
177    Love one another
297    Let us talents and tongues employ (post-communion)
482    His love within the world
491    You call me to love
606   Nothing is lost on the breath of God
627   Unconditionally
TIS
139    O love of God, how strong and true
152    Joyful, joyful we adore you
153    God is love, let heaven adore him
194    O love how deep, how broad, how high (esp v 1,2,6,7)
241    So God loved the people of the world
246    Christ is the world’s light
248    When Christ was lifted from the earth
305    Let earth and heaven combine
335    To Christ, the prince of peace
434    Where there is charity and love
464    Seek, O seek the Lord, while he is near
526    Lord Jesus Christ, you have come to us
533    Love is his word, love is his way (vv 1,6,7)
587    Fold to your heart your sister and your brother
676    A spendthrift lover is the Lord
678    God beyond glory (marriage)
685    Lord. I come to you (The power of your love)
693    Come as you are
699    A new commandment

Gospel: John 15: 1-8
LHS

337    God from all eternity* (alt tune 276, G5)
519    While yet the morn is breaking* G4 (vv 1,6) mod TIS 104
833    We praise you, Lord, for Jesus Christ G5 (baptism)
844    Sent out by God’s blessing G6 (holy communion) see TIS 531
AT
297    Let us talents and tongues employ
304    Stay with me, I’ll stay with you
311    Be still and know (v 2) (see also extra verses based on this reading)
382   I am the vine
487   Make your home in me
TIS
104    While morning still is breaking (vv 1,4)
393    Christ is alive, with joy we sing
486    We praise you, Lord, for Jesus Christ (baptism)
487    Lord Jesus Christ, on this your day of light (baptism)
531    Sent forth by God’s blessing
537    Let us talents and tongues employ

SONG BASED ON GOSPEL
This song is related to the gospel reading. It is by Claire Kleinig, based on ‘Be still and know’ (AT0 311) ©1988 the Iona Community. By permission from Willow Connection.

I am the Vine; in me there is life,
and there is none beside me. (Repeat)

I am the Vine; I keep you alive,
and there is none beside me. (Repeat)

I am the Vine; in me you bear fruit,
and there is none beside me. (Repeat)

I am the Vine; remain in my love,
for there is none beside me. (Repeat)

PSALM 22
The following paraphrase of Psalm 22:25-31 by David Schütz may be sung to the tune ‘Vine and fig tree’, ATN 36 (note that in the second last bar the second crochet must be played as two quavers). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

Now when I stand in the congregation,
there all my praise will come from God.
And in the presence of those who fear him,
there I will pay my vows to him.
Then there will be food for the poor,
then they will all be satisfied.
Praise him, all those who seek the Lord,
and may your spirit never die.

Then shall the ends of the earth remember
and ev’ry land turn to the Lord,
and all the fam’lies of ev’ry nation
shall worship him and hear his word.
For all dominion is the Lord’s,
power and might belong to him.
He rules the nations as their king,
he brings his love and grace to them.

Then even those who have died will worship,
and I will always live for him.
And generations to come will serve him,
for they will all be told of him.
They will proclaim his saving love
to those who have not yet been born.
They will be told what we have learnt
that, by the Lord, it has been done.

Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings : Psalm 22 p33 , Psalm 22 p34

OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR CHURCH MUSIC
While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
Metrical Psalms by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.

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