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Intercessions for Fourth Sunday of Easter Year C: 21 April 2013


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 9.36-43

In Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since 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.’ So 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. Peter 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. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.


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: Revelation 7.9-17

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’ Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

Gospel Reading: John 10.22-30

At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So 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.’ Jesus answered, ‘I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.’

The RSCM said in 2010: ‘The sheep follow their shepherd because they know by experience that he is the one who will keep them safe and give them life. Throughout his ministry the actions of Jesus brought life and hope to those who dared to notice…in the gospels his identity was revealed in everything he said and did. How far do our own actions define us as members of Christ’s flock”.

This week in 2013 has been a strange one: in the midst of life we are in death. In the aftermath of the horror and shock of the attacks on the Boston Marathon, which was felt all around the world, we have today played out on an international stage the funeral rituals offered by the Church, with all the panoply and worldly glory it can muster, grafted on to the essential simplicity of the words of the service: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word. The image of Christ as our shepherd and protector in the face of Death, whether after a long life or visited on the young, with violence, has never seemed more apt.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to our God, upon whom be blessing, and glory and wisdom, and thanksgiving and honour, and power and might, for ever and ever!

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we pray that isolated and persecuted churches may find fresh strength in the good news of Easter. Help us to make your Church a place of refuge, a haven where all your flock may be offered sanctuary.  We do not seek a hiding place from the outside world, but rather to draw strength, together with our fellow members of the Body of Christ, from your presence amongst us as a whole. Then, refreshed and fortified, give us grace to return to our larger communities and bear witness to your Gospel of hope.

May we dwell in the house of the Lord for ever: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


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

We pray for the leaders of our nation, and all those who work to make us safe and guard our freedoms: the freedom of speech, the freedom to worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear. We pray that those whom we trust with this responsibility may not abuse this trust. We pray that our own lives may honour these freedoms, while being less concerned with our rights than our obligations as members one of another.

May we dwell in the house of the Lord for ever: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The local community

We pray for all those who shape the minds of the young and impressionable. We pray for teachers, broadcasters and all those who use social media to interact with others. Lord, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous, to your greater glory.

May we dwell in the house of the Lord for ever: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Those who suffer

Lord, sustain us, we pray, by the power of your Spirit, and grant that, in the midst of all life’s varied changes, we may never be separated from our Good Shepherd, who guides us to the springs of life. Lead us always to the living waters where you promise respite and refreshment. We ask you to strengthen us, so that we in turn may be your presence to the sick, the weak and the dying.

May we dwell in the house of the Lord for ever: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

Lord, our sovereign and shepherd, who brought again your Son Jesus Christ from the valley of death, have mercy on all who mourn. Comfort us all 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.

May we dwell in the house of the Lord for ever: in your mercy, hear our prayer.


The illustration is The Good Shepherd by Niels Larsen Stevns via Wikimedia

2 comments on this post:

Mrs Jane Collen said...

excellent and inspiring & helpful to me in writing Intercessions. JANE

Lay Anglicana said...

Very glad to hear this :>)

04 May 2019 08:48
30 April 2019 16:00

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