Newsletter – 3 May 2020

Sunday Letter

Benefice of Padstow & Trevone,

St. Merryn, & St Issey with Little Petherick

During this extraordinary time, with our churches locked and public worship suspended, we thought our congregations might appreciate a emailed letter with the prayers and readings for the Sunday and a short devotional piece, as a way of keeping us together and sharing any thoughts we may have.

Sunday 3rd May – Fourth Sunday of Easter

 Collect of the day

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 forever.   Amen.

Readings:

Acts 2: 42-47

The Spirit –filled community

of early Christians express their abundant new life of worship and loving fellowship.

1 Peter 2: 19-25

Christ’s suffering and death show us how to bear trials with patience and forbearance.  He is with us in our suffering like a loving shepherd with his sheep.

John 10:  1-10

Jesus is the shepherd who offers freedom and life to those prepared to follow him.

Reflection – Jesus said: ‘I am the gate.  Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.’

Today is sometimes referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday, because the readings for this week focus on the image of Jesus as the shepherd who protects us, cares for us, and leads us wherever we may go.  The 23rd Psalm, which is probably the best known of all the psalms, is one which we will have been singing in our churches today.  And this imagery is something that features in the Old Testament, where God reveals through the prophet Ezekiel that he intends to set up a shepherd, who is to lead and care for his people.  As a young shepherd boy, David was chosen by God to become king, and to care for God’s people.  But his kingship was an earthly one, and he, along with the great prophets of the Old Testament, was to point the way towards Jesus.

Today we hear Jesus pointing the way for us by using another of the ‘I am’ sayings – I am the gate.  At that time, it was customary for shepherds to remain with their flocks, who were allowed to wander freely over the wilderness where grass was sparse.  At night, to protect them from thieves, or attacks by wild animals, the shepherd would lead them to the sheepfold.  This was a simple structure with one small opening through which they could go in and out.  Once they were in, the shepherd blocked the opening by physically lying across it, so that nothing could enter or leave without his knowledge.

The image of Christ as our shepherd challenges us to get to know God and to walk his way.  We learn to recognise his voice by spending time in prayer, by listening to his words in the scriptures, by meeting him in the sacraments and in the people and events of our daily lives.  And it means learning to follow his example, by identifying with the people he spent time with – the poor, the outcast, the marginalised and neglected.  It means committing ourselves, learning to ‘lay down our life’ for others, by giving our time, energy and skills in the service of others.  And it also means taking part in the struggle to build a better world.  If we truly follow Christ the Good Shepherd, then involvement is part of the challenge.

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.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PRAYER

Workers in health and social care and emergency services, all keyworkers and volunteers.

Our Benefice and all its communities

Schoolchildren and their families

Those in financial difficulty

All who are in isolation alone

Church – worldwide, Diocese and Benefice

World – peace

             all affected by Coronavirus

Suffering – all who are sick, anxious, lonely,

            bereaved

For information:

Radio4   8.10am   Sunday Worship

BBC1   10.45am   Sunday Worship

Online video services:

www.churchofengland.org   Every Sunday

www.trurodiocese.org.uk  

www.kerdh.co.uk for readings, prayers & reflections.

Facebook pages:

United Benefice of Padstow, St Merryn St Issey

St Columb Minor & St. Colan Parish Churches

United Benefice of West Kerrier

PRAYERS FOR THIS TIME

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us

from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray to the Lord,

who is our refuge and stronghold.

For the health and well-being of our nation,

that all who are fearful and anxious

may be at peace and free from worry …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For the isolated and housebound, that we may be alert to their needs, and care for them in their vulnerability …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For our homes and families, our schools and young people, and all in any kind of need or distress …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For a blessing on our local community, that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship, where all are known and cared for …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

We commend ourselves,

and all for whom we pray,

to the mercy and protection of God.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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