Sunday May 10th 2015
The United Benefice of Long Crendon, Chearsley & Nether Winchendon
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians Chapter 1:3
God our heavenly Father, we come to worship you.
Let this place set apart speak to us of that which knows no bounds –
the heaven of your presence.
Let this time set apart, speak to us of that which transcends time;
the eternity of your love.
Let the things that we hear speak to us of things that cannot be told –
and let everything that we see, help us to serve you more faithfully, whom we cannot see. Amen.
Collect for The Sixth Sunday of Easter
God our Redeemer, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of your Son: grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
First Reading: Acts 10:44 – end
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
New Testament Reading: 1 John 5: 1-6
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.
At the start of a wedding we often use the words from 1 John 4:16
'God is love and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them'
These are beautiful words and they are important not just at weddings. They express the conviction that love and God come close to being interchangeable terms. When we experience real love, then we experience God. Giving and receiving love are divine acts. When we share love with others we experience God, love makes God present. This is something which Jesus showed in his life as he loved people and encouraged us to love. It is Love which lies at the heart of the universe, the power which holds all things together. It is a Love that will not let us go and will not let us down. It is a Love in which we are all enfolded.
Gospel Reading: John 15: 9 – 17
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
Post Communion Prayer
God our Father, whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life: may we thirst for you, the spring of life and source of goodness, through him who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen.
Don’t forget! It happens every Thursday in Church House, Long Crendon.
10.30 – 12.00. Lovely ground coffee and delicious home made cakes. ALL welcome.
You are not too bad to come in nor too good to stay out (Notice on church door)
An atheist is a person with no invisible means of support.
Julian of Norwich had a lot to say about love. Her book “Revelations of Divine Love” was based on her mystical experiences which began with a grave illness in 1373. She experienced a series of mystical “showings”, visions, which were later written down by her admirers. Her visions are of God’s surpassing love for us, and present a tender, intimate portrait of Jesus that many find profoundly moving. She lived in an anchorites cell, but seekers after spiritual guidance could come and consult her through a window. Her advice was always practical and pithy as well as deeply rooted in God’s word. In our time Julian’s words resonate with us, perhaps far better than they did in her own time, when the Church taught that God was prone to anger and inclined to punish. This is what she wrote: 'There is no wrath in God….It is the most impossible thing that can be that God would be angry, for wrath and friendship are two opposites.' Does it change your perception of God, if you view Him as a friend? Not as Lord, Master, Teacher, Saviour (although of course God is all these things too!) but seeing God as a friend brings Him very close to us indeed. Real friends are interested in the details of our lives, they do not mind sharing our darkest thoughts and are companions in our worst times. God wants to be that kind of friend to us, but we often distance God, by pushing him on to a throne far away.
GROWING THE CHURCH
Four from St. Marys recently attended a Diocesan Conference – ‘Leading your Church into Growth’.They have much to share and would olove you to attend a gathering in The Friends Room, Church House, on Coffee and Cake will be served. Friday, May 15th at 7.30pm. Do come!
Joy may be expressed in laughter, yet it draws from a deep spring that keeps flowing long after transient laughter has died. Joy survives the fleeting happiness of this world, and overcomes the tears of our too short lives, because it trusts in the promise of the world to come. Joy enables us to be cheerful even when the world has become tired and grey with grief and worry.
From Prayers from the Ark, the Ox’s prayer.
“Dear God, give me time. People are always so driven! Make them understand that I can never hurry. Give me time to eat, Give me time to plod. Give me time to sleep. Give me time to think. Amen Carmen Bernos de Gasztold
“O Saviour Christ, we beseech you, when the wind is boisterous and our faith weak, and we begin to sink although we wish to come to You. Stretch out Your hands, Lord, as you did to Your fearful disciple and say to the sea of our difficulties, “peace, be still”. Amen Dean Vaughan
Go in peace, the peace that passes understanding.
And may the gift of quiet be still within you,
the gift of calm surround your soul
and God walk with you in wisdom and love.