Weekly Online Service
24 April 2021 The Fourth Sunday of Easter

Please find below our service for this week. You can also click on the PDF button to open and download a copy of the printed generic Service booklet.

You will find an opening hymn - words are included. This is followed by the service. Finally there is a closing hymn. Please feel free to follow along in whichever way you feel most comfortable. Words in bold are for everyone to join in.

Hymn

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
in a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
and drives away his fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole,
and calms the troubled breast;
’tis manna to the hungry soul,
and to the weary rest.

Dear name! the rock on which I build,
my shield and hiding-place,
my never-failing treasury filled
with boundless stores of grace.

Jesus! my Shepherd, Brother, Friend,
my Prophet, Priest, and King,
my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
accept the praise I bring.

Weak is the effort of my heart,
and cold my warmest thought;
but when I see thee as thou art,
I’ll praise thee as I ought.

Till then I would thy love proclaim
with every fleeting breath;
and may the music of thy name
refresh my soul in death.

Service Audio

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

All say Amen.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Prayers of Penitence

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us, forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.  Amen.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria in Excelcis

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

Lord Jesus Christ,
only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand
of the Father:
receive our prayer.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

The Collect of the Day is said or sung.

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life: raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The New Testament Readings

Acts 4.5-12 - Read by Janet Reed

The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11 This Jesus is
“the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
   it has become the cornerstone.”
12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

1 John 3.16-24 - Read by Alison Reeve

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

John 10.11-18 - Read by Luke Reeve

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Gospel reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

All say: Glory to you, O Lord.

‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

‘The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep’. Amen.

John 10.11-18

He was 6’2” tall, with strawberry blond hair and a beard, as the girls would say now he was ‘fit’, he wore a long white robe, held a staff, and had a lamb draped around his neck. This is the earliest picture I can remember from my childhood Sunday School. I expect that many of us here will have seen that same picture. I used to wonder why people see Jesus as one of their own, in colour and culture, but of course that it is how we might initially connect with him.

Another picture I have in mind is of a stocky, dark haired man, walking ahead of about a dozen sheep, who seemed to follow him like puppy dogs. This was in the American run theme park, called ‘Nazareth Village’, in the Holy Land. Neither of these images of the shepherd are completely wrong but they are both somewhat romantic.

Before we are able to grasp the full meaning of what Jesus, the ‘Good Shepherd’, was saying to his disciples, its helpful to learn more of the background to sheep farming in 1st century Israel. Sheep were very important in Israel. They were precious, so much so, every part of them was used with the exception of the bleat.

Although not eaten regularly, possibly by the poor, only at feast times. Lamb meant food and sacrifice, their skin was used to store wine and water, to make parchment for writing, their wool was essential for clothing, and their horns and bones used for writing tools and other utensils. Sheep were a form of currency and the Shepherd was custodian of them.

Despite the importance of their role, shepherds were considered to be ritually unclean and were not allowed to enter the Temple. Shepherding was not a nine to five job, they lived with their sheep out in the fields, sometimes for months at a time, they cared for their flocks, and they grew to know each and every sheep individually by name and character. Because of the close nature of their connection, sheep also knew their shepherd, both his voice and his call. Any parent will tell you they can recognise their own child’s voice in a crowd, and a child will also know it’s parent’s. Jesus wants us to know, that is how close he is to us and all whom he calls.

Pastures in Israel were not neat fields as we would know them in the South East of England, but more like the sparce mountains and moors of the North and Scotland. Jewish flocks, at that time, mingled where ever the grass was green. At night the sheepfold was not always an exclusive place, but sometimes a communal affair. Large circles of stone topped with brambles. High enough to keep out predators, with an entrance small enough for the Shepherds, sleeping across the gap, to take turns in keeping the sheep in and wild animals out.

In the morning the Shepherd would call out for his own sheep to follow as he lead them out into the pasture and closer to water. Shepherds of larger flocks would often hire in help but these workers would not necesserally have the same commitment as owners, or the same relationship with the flock.

Throughout their history, Jewish people knew ‘The Shepherd’ as a metaphor for both their God and their King. Those listening to Jesus would have known Ezekiel refered to God as a Shepherd/King and his people were his flock. In singing Psalm 23 they would be assured that it refered to God’s care and provision, his ‘goodness and mercy’. And of course they knew their hero, the Shepherd King David, who fought and killed Goliath, saving the nation. David, for 1st century Jews, displayed and ipitomised the kind of king they longed for in the promised Messiah.

Jesus, in his two declarations, “I Am The Good Shepherd” was saying to all, both then and now, ‘I am’ God and King. He went on to describe the Pharisees, Herod and his puppet rulers and the occupying Roman leaders, as the ‘hired hand’, who cared nothing for the people. Unlike The Good Shepherd, who Jesus said, knows, protects and provides for his sheep.

Jesus went on to include other sheep, other peoples, into his fold. Although they didn’t know it yet, he indicated to the disciples, where his ministry was going to take him, and where their own would lead them. Jesus described his death and resurrection in terms of God’s command. He also described the close relationship between him and the Father as one of love and self sacrifice for the whole world.

After receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and we shall hear more about that in a few weeks time, Peter and the disciples became bolder knowing Jesus to be their Shepherd/King/ Messiah. They were passionate and after Peter and John were arrested for preaching the Good News of Jesus, Peter defended himself to the Priests, Temple officials and the Sadducees, proclaiming that an act of healing was the work of the risen Jesus.

Peter reminded the Pharisees they were the instrument of Jesus’ death, emphasising his resurrection in particular for his followers. Despite the danger of being killed for inciting rebellion, Peter declared Jesus to be the foundation of his faith and the ‘cornerstone’ of the emerging church.

Equally passionate about sharing the joy of knowing and following their shepherd, John in his letter, reminds his reader of Jesus’ sacrifice made for all. He reminds us of our responsibility, as lambs of his flock, to follow in Christ’s footsteps.

We may not be called, like Jesus, to die for our neighbours, but we are called to know, protect and provide for them. What Jesus does for us, we must do for others in need. The Good Shepherd gave his life for the sheep. He loved us first and commanded that we in turn love one another, and believe in him. His promise for those who keep his commandments is to abide in us, to dwell with us, and to send his Holy Spirit that we might have life in abundance.

I read recently that the word ‘Good’ in the Greek can also be translated as Beautiful, not beautiful in looks but in action. So my Sunday School picture of Jesus, whilst inaccurate in a visual sense, but in character was not so wrong after all. Amen.

The Rev'd Mo Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 25/04/2021

Service Audio

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit
and the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Intercessions 

The Intercessions list has been circulated with petitions for the Church, The World, The Community, Our Keyworkers, The Sick and the Deceased. The Diocesan Cycle of Prayer is found at:

London Anglican Cycle of Prayer

This or another response may be used:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.

Strengthen N our bishop(s) and all your Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess your name may be united in your truth,
live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours,
that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit …;
give them courage and hope in their troubles; and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ …; according to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

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

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.
In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.
Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

and also with you.

A sign of peace may be exchanged.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.

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.

Service Audio

The Post Communion Prayer

Merciful Father, you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd, and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again: keep us always under his protection, and give us grace to follow in his steps; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

The peace of God,
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Recessional Hymn

The day of resurrection

The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
the Passover of gladness,
the Passover of God;
from death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our God hath brought us over
with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil,
that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal
of resurrection-light;
and, listening to his accents,
may hear so calm and plain
his own ‘All hail’, and, hearing,
may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful,
and earth her song begin,
the round world keep high triumph
and all that is therein;
let all things seen and unseen
their notes of gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord is risen,
our joy that hath no end.

Material from Common Worship 2000 is included in this service and is copyright © The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England.