Newsletter – 24 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 May 24th  – The Seventh Sunday

after Easter (Sunday after Ascension Day)

The Collect

Oh God the king of glory,

you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ

with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:

we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,

but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us

and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity and power of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Readings

First Reading               Acts 1: 6-14

Jesus is taken into heaven. But the disciples remain together and united in prayer, awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Second Reading      1 Peter 4: 12-14; 5. 6-11

The pain of suffering for being Christian may not be different to the pain of other suffering, but Christ blesses with the gift of the Spirit those who risk all for him.

Gospel                      St. John 17: 1-11

Jesus’ prayer gives us not only an insight into his relationship with the Father but also the certain knowledge of how we are saved through his relationship with us.

Today is the seventh and final Sunday of the Easter season. It is an ‘in-between’ Sunday, following Christ’s Ascension to the Father which was celebrated on Thursday, and looking forward to Pentecost next Sunday. If we had been in church for Ascension Day we would have extinguished the Paschal Candle as a sign that the resurrected and now ascended Christ is no longer present on earth. That might be seen as a sign of separation and a cause for sadness, but instead Ascension and the ten days to Pentecost are celebrated in joy at the final triumph of our risen Lord. Christ humbled himself to share in our humanity, and through his Ascension all who are members of Christ come to share with him in his divinity. Good reason indeed to be joyful and to celebrate.

Jesus’ last instruction to his disciples before his ascension was “to stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high”. Remain where you are and wait – for how long and for exactly what they didn’t know. (Rather like those waiting in isolation today!) We might expect the disciples to be sad that the risen Lord had finally left them, but Luke tells us that “they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple, blessing God.”

Today’s Gospel reading perhaps gives us some idea how the disciples could face their uncertain future in such good spirits. It takes us back in time to their last meal with Jesus, when he had talked to them for a long time, with a speech often described as his ‘farewell discourse’. He spoke of being one with the Father, he encouraged the disciples to love another. He promised they would not be left alone and that the Holy Spirit would come to them. I’m sure the disciples would have taken great comfort, as we can, from remembering those words of inspiration and encouragement and love. Jesus finished with a prayer for his disciples which begins with these verses we read today. It was a prayer for them, and it is just as much Jesus’ prayer for us today. “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

Post Communion prayer

Eternal God, giver of love and power,
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world

to preach the gospel of his kingdom:
confirm us in this mission,

and help us to live the good news we proclaim;
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

Schools, teachers, children and their families

Those in financial difficulty

All who are in isolation, especially those alone

Church – worldwide, Diocese and Benefice

World – peace

             all affected by Coronavirus

Suffering – all who are sick, anxious, lonely,

            bereaved

Radio4   8.10am   Sunday Worship

BBC1   11.45am   Sunday Worship

Online video services:

www.churchofengland.org 

www.trurodiocese.org.uk     

www.trurocathedral.org             

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

Wednesday Morning Prayer 9.00am by Zoom

Email Revd Fiona for link   giorlaf@outlook.com

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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