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     St Clement Church Community Third Sunday of Easter Service

 

On this the third Sunday of the Easter season, we continue to think of the disciples after Jesus has risen from the dead. They are still slow to recognise their Lord when He appears.                                                                                                                                                                            How slow are we to recognise our Lord in our lives?                                                                                                                                                                May we be much more aware of our Lord’s presence in all that we do.

God Bless

With my love

Liz

  

Let us pray:

 

Dear Lord and Saviour, we offer this prayer of sincere thanksgiving for Your blood sacrifice. Thank You for being obedient to Your Father and going to the cross for us. May we never forget that You gave Your life for us, so that one day we might live with You in eternity. Because Your blood redeemed us, we are now new creations in Christ and by Your blood we are freed from sin to serve the living God, to glorify Him for ever. In Jesus’ name

Amen.

 

Hymn:

 

Our prayers of Penitence

 

Lord God, your love for humankind, present at the beginning of all things, extends throughout history and touches even our lives.                                            Your love sees failings and forgives.                                                                                                                                                                                          Your love feels pain and wipes away our tears.                                                                                                                                                                        Your love knows grief, and comforts the sorrowful.                                                                                                                                                                 Your love sees sin and still loves the sinner.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Forgive us when we fail to live lives that reflect your love.                                                                                                                                                                     Forgive us the many times when we take for granted all that you have done for us.                                                                                                                                              Transform us, through your Spirit, and empower us to serve you this day and all days.

 

Amen.

 

Let us pray our Collect for today.

 

Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; 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 forever.

 

Amen

 

New Testament reading:     Acts 9. 1 – 6, 7 - 20

New Testament reading:     Revelations 5. 11 - 14

 

Hymn:

 

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 21. 1 - 19

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord

 

Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberius; and he showed himself in this way.                                                                                                        Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’                                                                                                                                                                         They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

 

Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.                                                                                                                                Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’                                                                                                                                                      They answered him, ‘No.’                                                                                                                                                                                                          He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’                                                                                                                                                 So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.                                                                                                                                 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’                                                                                                                                              When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake.                                                                                                    But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

 

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread.                                                                                                                                           Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’                                                                                                                                                        So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn.                                                                                                                                                                                                       Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’                                                                                                                                                                                         Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord.                                                                                                                     Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.                                                                                                                                            This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

 

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’                                                                                                   He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’                                                                                                                                                         Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’                                                                                                                                                                                                    A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’                                                                                                                                                             He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’                                                                                                                                                                                                He said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’                                                                                                                                                   Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’                                                                                                                                        And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’                                                                                                                                                            Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.                                                                                                                                                                                                               Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’                                                                                     He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.                                                                                                                         After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’                                                              

 

  (This is the Gospel of the Lord.)

Response: Praise to you, O Christ.

 

Reflection

 

If I asked you, ‘What two things do you think all human beings need in order to live happy, productive lives?’ I wonder what your answer would be.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Many psychologists say that what we need is a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose.                                                                                               By ‘belonging’ I don’t mean ‘fitting in.’ Fitting in can be the exact opposite of belonging. When you try to fit in, you adapt yourself to a group’s expectations. When you belong, you don’t change a thing. You are accepted the way you are. Being accepted as we are by a larger group gives us a stable view of ourselves, and helps us shape our individual identity.

A sense of purpose gives us a reason to get up in the morning. We need to believe that what we do, matters, that we make a difference in the world. Our sense of purpose drives our decisions about the way we spend our time, our energy and our financial resources. Believing that your life has meaning and value can motivate you to face challenging circumstances with courage and perseverance and even joy.

We need to feel like we belong, and we need to feel like we have a purpose in life. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus offers us both.

There are really two stories intertwined. One has to do with fish and the other with sheep.

It’s often suggested that one way we can tell that the Resurrection stories are true is that they really don’t show the disciples in the best light. If the disciples are making up the story, they would certainly paint a much more positive reaction to the news that Jesus is risen from the dead. Their own part in the story would be much more heroic and flattering. Instead, we read about their disbelief, the failure to accept Mary Magdalene’s eye witness account as anything more than an idle tale. And now, we see them spending an entire night fishing for … nothing!

Let’s be honest, some of these disciples are expert fishermen. They are professionals. Even so, after a long night of casting their net, they’ve come up empty. And now it is morning. The sun hasn’t yet come up, but in the grey light of early dawn, they can see a charcoal fire on the shore. Even though they haven’t caught any fish, they can tell that someone is cooking fish up on the rocks.                                The figure on the shore tells them to try throwing their net off the other side of the boat, and suddenly, the net is full of large fish.

It is the disciple that Jesus loves, John, who first recognises the figure on the beach. His shout, ‘It’s the Lord!’ galvanises Peter into action. Throwing on some clothes, Peter jumps into the water and urgently swims towards Jesus.                                                                          Jesus tells them to bring some of their fish so Peter jumps back into the water to haul in the catch. Then they all sit down to have a breakfast of grilled fish and broken bread.                                                                                                                                                                         It’s interesting that this story is the closest John’s Gospel ever gets to describing the Last Supper. Instead of the last meal before His crucifixion, Jesus offers a post-resurrection breakfast to His disciples.

Jesus doesn’t need their fish - He is already cooking fish when their nets are still empty. But, when they follow His commands, He invites them to add their fish to the food he is already preparing.                                                                                                                                 Jesus uses our God-given talents and adds them to the work He is already doing in our lives. He invites us to share in a feast that He has prepared, using whatever gifts we bring Him.

When the expert fishermen come up empty using their own methods, Jesus gives them a simple command to change the way they do things and they are suddenly blessed with abundance. The net wasn’t just filled with 153 fish - the number of different species of fish known in 1st century Galilee - it was filled with 153 different kinds of fish symbolising the extent to which fishing for people would go – to the whole world.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The net was empty all night as long as the fishermen used their tried-and-true fishing techniques. When they followed Jesus’ direction to do things differently, the net was full of large fish, and it didn’t break. Their capacity to catch fish grew with their obedience. Perhaps, we might learn something from this.

After breakfast, Jesus and Peter go for a walk along the beach. They have a short, but repetitive conversation. Three times, Jesus asks Peter, ‘Simon, do you love me?’ and three times, Peter answers, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Each time Jesus responds with a command to care for His sheep. ‘Feed my lambs, tend my sheep. Feed my sheep.’

It is easy to see the connection between Peter’s earlier three denials and these three professions of loyalty and devotion. It is also easy to see why Peter is hurt when Jesus asks him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’

What is perhaps not so easy to see is the way Jesus draws Peter into a new relationship through this short conversation.                                                  In the high priest’s courtyard, Peter didn’t deny the divinity of Jesus nor Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah. What Peter denied was his own relationship to Jesus. When he is asked twice if he is one of Jesus’ disciples, he says, ‘I am not.’ When he is challenged a third time, he denies knowing Jesus.

Now, as they walk together beside the sea, Jesus not only restores that relationship, but creates a new one between himself and Peter. By the third time He questions ‘Simon, son of John’ Jesus is asking for more than affection. Jesus asks Peter, ‘Do you love me like a brother? You claim me as your friend; can I claim you as my friend?

Peter’s distress is almost as important as his words. ‘You know everything, Lord. You know that I love you. You know all my failings and my weaknesses and you know my sin. If you still want me as your friend, I want to be that friend.’

‘Feed my sheep,’ Jesus tells him.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Up to this point, Jesus has portrayed Himself as the Good Shepherd. Now He entrusts His flock to Peter. It isn’t that sheep have replaced fish in importance, but shepherding has been added to fishing.                                                                                                                                                Jesus ends the conversation the same way He begins His relationship with Simon and the other fishermen back at the start of His ministry.  

‘Follow me,’ He says.

‘Follow me,’ Jesus calls to us, now.                                                                                                                                                                                                 ‘Follow me,’ whether we are fishing or herding His sheep.                                                                                                                                                            ‘Follow me,’ when He calls us to change the way we’ve always done things, so that He can bless us with abundance.                                                                               ‘Follow me,’ as He prepares a feast for us that combines what He provides with what we offer of ourselves.                                                            ‘Follow me’ into such a close friendship, such a deep love, that all can be forgiven, and all can be made whole.

Jesus calls. Will you follow?

 

Amen

 

An Easter season Affirmation of our faith

 

Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God

 

Though He was divine, He did not cling to equality with God, but made Himself nothing. Taking the form of a slave, He was born in human likeness.  He humbled Himself and was obedient to death, even the death of the cross.                                                                                                                              Therefore, God has raised Him on high, and given Him the name above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Amen

 

Hymn:

 

Intercessions

 

Mighty God, your Son revealed Himself again and again and convinced His disciples of His glorious resurrection. Help us to feel His risen presence, so that we can lovingly feed His sheep, and care for the lambs of His flock here in this parish and the communities in which we live.

 

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

 

Creator God, we thank you for the example of leadership given to us by your Son, Jesus Christ, in His life here on earth and how, in a practical sense, He showed His followers a new way to fish. We pray for the peoples of the world who are learning to do new things with their lives, and we continue to pray that such changes will hasten the day when all your world has enough of the basic essentials and comforts of life.

 

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

 

Almighty God, you have called us to follow in the way of your risen Son, and to care for those who are our companions, not only with words, but with acts of love. As we seek to be true friends of all, we pray for our families, our friends and our neighbours, especially in areas where there are problems with our relationships. Let us always be the ones to make the first steps towards reconciliation.

 

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

 

Gracious God, we remember this morning those who are sick, sad or lonely and those who are brave and patient when things are going wrong. We pray that they may be aware of your comforting presence and know that in your hands they are safe and loved.  We especially remember at this time, Margaret, Ollie, Ken and Diane, Brian, Gavin, Paul and Jan, Terry and Dot, Daphne and Dave, Sally, Gill and family, Jenny and all those who have no one to pray for them.

 

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us 

 

Creator God, through the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, you have freed us from the grip of the tomb. We pray for those who have departed this life and ask You, through your loving kindness, to have mercy on their souls. We pray too for those left behind who are grieving for their loved ones.

 

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

 

Lord, at the start of this week, help us to be an example to others. Show us, as you did with your fishermen friends, the practical steps we need to take so that we can change the ways in which we do things and so develop consistency and integrity in all that we do in our lives.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus taught us;

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.   And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Jesus’ Eternal Sacrifice   by M.S.Lowndes

 

God almighty, our holy one                                                                                                                                                                                          Conquering, victorious and Risen Son,                                                                                                                                                                                      Saviour, Redeemer, Lord of Light,                                                                                                                                                                                                        You saved me, freed me, and gave me life.                                                                                                                                                                                        Is there a way that I can repay                                                                                                                                                                                                                           What it cost You, my Lord, that fateful day                                                                                                                                                                                                 When You gave Your life upon the cross                                                                                                                                                                                                               For all mankind eternally lost?                                                                                                                                                                                                           For I know I could never pay the price,                                                                                                                                                                                                           The cost of Your eternal sacrifice                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   For salvation is a gift that You freely gave                                                                                                                                                                                          When you died and arose from the grave                                                                                                                                                                        The hope that came from Your sacrifice                                                                                                                                                                                          Is the hope we have of eternal life.      

 

The Peace

Jesus says to His disciples, ‘Peace I leave with you.                                                                                                                                                          My peace I give to you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not as the world gives do I give to you.                                                                                                                                                                                                       Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid.’

 

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

 

Hymn:

 

Blessing

 

Almighty Father, help us to remember that freedom does not automatically perpetuate itself, that we have to work at it, nurture it, protect it and pray for it. Freedom like faith needs our attention and our cooperation.                                                                                                      Lord, be with us now to strengthen us; about us, to keep us; above us, to protect us; beneath us, to uphold us; before us, to direct us; behind us, to keep us from straying; and ‘round about us,’ to defend us.                                                                                                                               Blessed are You, O Father, forever and ever.

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 28th April 2022 8:15 AM