Sunday 29 April 2018 5th Sunday of Easter Year B

Almighty God,

who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ

have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires,

so by your continual help

we may bring them to good effect;

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

or

Risen Christ,

your wounds declare your love for the world

and the wonder of your risen life:

give us compassion and courage

to risk ourselves for those we serve,

to the glory of God the Father.

Readings

Baruch 3.9-15, 32-4.4

9 Hear the commandments of life, O Israel;

give ear, and learn wisdom!

10 Why is it, O Israel, why is it that you are in the land of your enemies,

that you are growing old in a foreign country,

that you are defiled with the dead,

11   that you are counted among those in Hades?

12 You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.

13 If you had walked in the way of God,

you would be living in peace for ever.

14 Learn where there is wisdom,

where there is strength,

where there is understanding,

so that you may at the same time discern

where there is length of days, and life,

where there is light for the eyes, and peace.

15 Who has found her place?

And who has entered her storehouses?

32 But the one who knows all things knows her,

he found her by his understanding.

The one who prepared the earth for all time

filled it with four-footed creatures;

33 the one who sends forth the light, and it goes;

he called it, and it obeyed him, trembling;

34 the stars shone in their watches, and were glad;

he called them, and they said, ‘Here we are!’

They shone with gladness for him who made them.

35 This is our God;

no other can be compared to him.

36 He found the whole way to knowledge,

and gave her to his servant Jacob

and to Israel, whom he loved.

37 Afterwards she appeared on earth

and lived with humankind.

4

She is the book of the commandments of God,

the law that endures for ever.

All who hold her fast will live,

and those who forsake her will die.

2 Turn, O Jacob, and take her;

walk towards the shining of her light.

3 Do not give your glory to another,

or your advantages to an alien people.

4 Happy are we, O Israel,

for we know what is pleasing to God.

This is the word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.

or Genesis 22.1-18

22

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 2He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’ 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt-offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.’ 6Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?’ 8Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.

9 When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 12He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ 13And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt-offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, says the Lord: Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will indeed bless you, and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, 18and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.’

This is the word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.

Acts 8.26-end

26 Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) 27So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ 30So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ 31He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 32Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:

‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,

and like a lamb silent before its shearer,

so he does not open his mouth.

33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.

Who can describe his generation?

For his life is taken away from the earth.’

34The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ 35Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?’ 38He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

This is the word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.

Psalm 22.25-end

25  From you comes my praise in the great congregation; •

I will perform my vows

in the presence of those that fear you.

26  The poor shall eat and be satisfied; •

those who seek the Lord shall praise him;

their hearts shall live for ever.

27  All the ends of the earth

shall remember and turn to the Lord, •

and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

28  For the kingdom is the Lord’s •

and he rules over the nations.

29  How can those who sleep in the earth

bow down in worship, •

or those who go down to the dust kneel before him?

30  He has saved my life for himself;

my descendants shall serve him; •

this shall be told of the Lord for generations to come.

31  They shall come and make known his salvation,

to a people yet unborn, •

declaring that he, the Lord, has done it.

1 John 4.7-end

7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. 15God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19We love because he first loved us. 20Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

This is the word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.

† The reading from Acts must be used as either the first; or second reading.

This is the word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

AllGlory to you, O Lord.

John 15.1-8

15

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

AllPraise to you, O Christ.

Post Communion

Eternal God,

whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life:

grant us to walk in his way,

to rejoice in his truth,

and to share his risen life;

who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

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