Lay Anglicana, the unofficial voice of the laity throughout the Anglican Communion.
This is the place to share news and views from the pews.

Get involved ...

Intercessions for Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B: 26 April 2015


The Collect

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 Liturgy of the Word

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.’

Psalm 23

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

The Lord is my shepherd; *therefore can I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures * and leads me beside still waters. R
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. R
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.


Second Reading: 1 John 3.16-24

We know love by this, that he 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 him. 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.

Gospel Reading: John 10.11-18

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘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.’

The RSCM says (2006): “There are so many things that call out for our attention that it can be hard to hear the voice of God, let alone to follow it…we can only say this: that amongst all the idols that vie for our allegiance, only the Good Shepherd has translated promises into actions and laid down his life for his flock.”

Jane Williams has a gloss which helps us to look beyond the sheep to the message (search ‘ostensible’ here). ‘The sheep would not have come to trust the shepherd if he had come out and given them a sermon a day. His voice would not be the one they loved and believed if they had not experienced it first as the voice of practical care…we have to live in the world as if we really did believe in Jesus…we have to live together, one flock with one shepherd, as though we knew that this is what we were made for. Any other way of living is out of tune with the whole purpose of the universe. Luckily, the voice of the good shepherd is still heard in the Holy Spirit, since we still need to learn how to be shepherds ourselves’.

Prayers of Intercession

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we thank you for sending us the Great Shepherd, your son, to lay down his life for his sheep and to set us the supreme example to be followed. Help us to live together as one body in Christ, one flock with one shepherd. Help us to see this as our part as you work out your purpose for mankind. And teach us, through the voice of your Holy Spirit, to be shepherds in our turn as we feed and care for the flock in your name.

Lord, your rod and your staff they comfort us: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, you have taught us that no one is an island, entire of itself; we are all a piece of the continent, and of the whole world that we live in. We thank you for the gift of television, though it brings vivid reminders of man’s inhumanity to man daily into our homes. We thank you for the reminder that the death of any of our fellow humans diminishes us, because we are involved in mankind. Let us never ask who is responsible, when we know in our heart of hearts that the answer is each one of us.

Lord, your rod and your staff they comfort us: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶The local community

Lord, you promise a world where those who now weep shall laugh; those who are hungry shall feast; those who are now poor or excluded shall claim your kingdom for their own. Help us to build such a world in the here and now, and let it begin with each one of us. Let us learn to live together in harmony, and let it begin right now. And, Lord, give us the perseverance, courage and hope to work towards this as a reality.

Lord, your rod and your staff they comfort us: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶Those who suffer

Lord, you are a very present help in time of trouble to all those who suffer pain in body, mind or spirit. We pray for those whose pain is acute, and in this very moment. We pray for those whose pain is a dread for the future or an ache of longing for the past. We pray for those whose pain will be short in duration, and we pray for those who will have to live with their sorrow for some time to come.

Lord, your rod and your staff they comfort us: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


¶The communion of saints

Lord, you brought your son through the valley of death to reign with you for all eternity. We bring before you…..

Comfort us with your protecting presence, and your angels of goodness and love, that we too may come home and dwell in your house for ever.


Merciful Father, accept these prayers…


Prayer after Communion

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): Invitation to Confession (Easter Day until Eve of Ascension) © 1988 Continuum (Mowbray) (Adapted) Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA Post Communion (4th of Easter) © 1995 General Synod of the Church of Ireland Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000

0 comments on this post:

Be the first to leave a comment - simply complete the form below...

Leave a Reply

We rely on donations to keep this website running.