25 April                                                                             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 for ever.

 

First Reading  Acts 4.5-12

5The Jewish rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, 9if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10let 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. 11This Jesus is “the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.”
12There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

 

Psalm   Psalm 23

Refrain: I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

1                 The Lord is my shepherd;  
therefore can I lack nothing.

2                 He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. 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. 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 for ever.

Refrain: I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

O God, our sovereign and shepherd, who brought again your Son Jesus Christ from the valley of death, comfort us with your protecting presence and your angels of goodness and love,
that we also may come home
and dwell with him in your house for ever.

 

Reading     1 John 3.16-24

16We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17How 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?

18Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

23And 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. 24All 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. 

 

Gospel   John 10.11-18

Jesus said to the Pharisees: 11‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The 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. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I 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. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No 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 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.

 

Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):

1 John 3.16-24 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

Acts 4.5-12 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

John 10.11-18 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA

Post Communion (4th of Easter) ©  1995 General Synod of the Church of Ireland

Collect (4th of Easter) ©  The Archbishops' Council 2000

Psalm 23 ©  The Archbishops' Council 2000