25th April 2021: Fourth Sunday of Easter

Church Alive worship

Click on the icon on the left; otherwise details are Meeting ID: 829 3405 8461 Passcode: 410649

You might like to have the following ready prepared with you for the service:
– Drink and snack!
– Candle and matches/lighter

We will meet at 11am and start the service at 11.05am. Please use MUTE on your computer at 11.05am for the service, especially wherever we are singing together, except in the sections where marked. If you’d like to say something at other times, please ‘raise your hand’ (you will find this in the Participants section) or type it in under ‘chat’ and it will appear on the screen.

‘All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own do we give you. (1 Chronicles 29:14) We ask your blessing on what we offer, which is given in thanksgiving for your many blessings and for all you have done for us’.

Today is known as Good Shepherd Sunday – we think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who calls the sheep who listen to his voice, we consider how we are being called to follow Jesus as we hear him remind us that he is ‘the gate’ that that enables the sheep to go in and out freely and safely. 

Opening Song

Let there be Love shared Among Us

Call to Worship

Come let us worship the Lord
Gather us, Jesus, our Good Shepherd

Wherever we are, we meet in Your presence
We gather to worship with praise and thanksgiving

The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep, cares for them, knows each one by name.
Good Shepherd, we thank you for your tender care as we come to worship you today.

Jesus says ‘I am the gate’
Open that gate to us dear Lord, teach us to come in and go out in your name as Easter people bearing your Good News far and wide to all who would hear: Alleluia!

Opening Prayer

If you are able, and it is safe to do so, you might like to light a candle at this point as well and hold up your candle as we say our prayer together.

Lord, we light this candle,
to remind us that you are the light of the world.
As we gather together in spirit,
make our voices ready to sing your praise;
our hearts open to receive your love
and our minds alive to your Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We seek God’s healing and forgiveness

Lord Jesus, our good shepherd:

Forgive us where we have not listened to your voice and have thought, said and done things that have been wrong. Lord have mercy.

Forgive us where we have followed the crowd rather than following you. Christ have mercy.

Forgive us where we have been stubborn, wanting to go our own way instead of letting you be the gate that calls us in and sends us out. Lord have mercy.

We hear words assuring us of God’s forgiveness

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that as our good shepherd you laid down your life so that we might be forgiven. May we receive your forgiveness today. Keep us within your flock, help us to listen to and follow you; for you are the gate to all you would wish us to be and do. Amen.

Thanksgiving

One of the most well-known psalms, Psalm 23, starts: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ It says: “He leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul” And: “He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Let us give thanks for how Jesus, the Good Shepherd, comes near when we need him most:
Please share and give thanks for the places where you find refreshment for body and soul? Would you like to share a ‘dark’ time when you sensed God’s presence comforting you, and give thanks that you were led through those difficult days?

To end our time of sharing and offering thanks to God:

Psalm draws to and end with the words: Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Thank you, Lord, that you never stop loving us. Thank you for always being with us. Strengthen your church that we might show your love to those around us, and keep our eyes fixed on you. You are the good shepherd. Help us to listen to and follow you. Amen

Bible Reading

John 10:11-18
Good News Translation

11 “I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. 12 When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and does not care about the sheep.

14-15 I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. 16 There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become[a] one flock with one shepherd.

17 “The Father loves me because I am willing to give up my life, in order that I may receive it back again. 18 No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it back. This is what my Father has commanded me to do.”

On Zoom – Talk

At Home –

Please use the separate Resources sheet which can be downloaded here.

Song

The Lord’s My Shepherd [Townend]

Prayers

On zoom – We will play a very short piece of music, during which you can add your prayers to the chat and then they will be included in the prayer time

Today we might particularly pray for:

For all whose lives lack care and love as they are ruled by oppression and disinterest rather than shepherded with tenderness and understanding
That the day will come when all may worship without fear and Jesus’ flock will truly be filled with people from all nations and backgrounds
That we might all play our part, however small, in saving God’s world for future generations
For all who suffer in body, mind or spirit, the dying and the bereaved:
That they may know God’s healing love, hear and recognise his voice and be comforted
That the souls of those who have died will rest safely in God’s eternal kingdom

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

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.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Song

Sing of the Lord’s Goodness

Sending Out Prayer and Blessing

O God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the good shepherd of your people:
Grant that when we hear his voice, we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; for he is the gate that allows us to come in and go out in service to him
who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Christ the good shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep, Draw us and all who hear this voice, to be one flock within one fold, And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among us and remain with us always. Amen.

The Peace

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
In the name of Christ. Amen

On zoom – We share the peace with each other using sign language
Fellowship time – unmute. We will go around the group so that everyone has a chance to let us know how they are and any news they want to share.