Collect and Readings for 22 April 2018

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 for ever.  Amen.
 
THE FIRST READING:
Acts 4. 5 - 12 
The Jewish rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, 'By what power or by what name did you do this?' Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, 'Rulers of the people and elders, 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, 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.  This Jesus is "the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone." There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.'
 
PSALM23
The choir sings the response:
The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing.
 
All repeat the response:  


 
 
The Lord is my shepherd;
therefore can I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
All       The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing.
 
He shall refresh my soul
and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
All       The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing.
 
You spread a table before me
in the presence of those who trouble me;
you have anointed my head with oil and my cup shall be full.
Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever
All       The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing.
 
THE SECOND READING:
1 John 3. 16 – end    
We know love by this, that the Son of God laid down his life for us - and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.  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?  Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.  And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.  Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God;
and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases God.  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. 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.
 
THE GOSPEL READING:
John 10. 11 - 18
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  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. The hired hand runs away - because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 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.  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.  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.'
 
POST COMMUNION COLLECT
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.