8th May                                                                              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

Genesis 7.1-5,11-18; 8.6-18; 9.8-13

1The LORD said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. 2Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; 3and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. 4For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.’ 5And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.

11In the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12The rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights. 13On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons, entered the ark, 14they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind – every bird, every winged creature. 15They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.

17The flood continued for forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.

6At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; 9but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. 10He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; 11and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more. 

13In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. 15Then God said to Noah, 16‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh – birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth – so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’ 18So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 

8Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 

 

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. 3 He shall refresh 

my soul and guide me in the paths of 

righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 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. 5 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. 6 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.

 

Second Reading  Acts 9.36-43

36In Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. 37At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, ‘Please come to us without delay.’ 39So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, ‘Tabitha, get up.’ Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. 42This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner. 

 

Alternate Reading

Revelation 7.9-end

 

Gospel  John 10.22-30

22At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ 25Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are one.’ 

 

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): Acts 9.36-43 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA. Genesis 7.1-5,11-18; 8.6-18; 9.8-13 ©  1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA. John 10.22-30 ©  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