Lectionary - Easter 5 Year B

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Acts 8:26-40 Philip and the Ethiopian
Psalm 22:25-31 Let all the families of the nations bow before him
1 John 4:7-12 Let us love one another
John 15:1-8 The true vine

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)

Acts 8: 26-40
Baptized into your name most holy TIS.481
In Christ there is no east or west TIS.459 AHB.391
O love, how deep, how broad, how high TIS.194 AHB.6
Wash, O God, our sons and daughters TIS.493
We know that Christ is raised TIS.489

Psalm 22: 25-31
All who see me deride me TIS.9 SA.67
Christ the Lord is risen today TIS.370 AHB.290

1 John 4: 7-21
For the beauty of the earth TIS.137 AHB.77
Love divine all loves excelling TIS.217 AHB.148
Now the green blade rises TIS.382
There's a wideness in God's mercy TIS.136 AHB.72
To God be the glory, great things he has done TIS.147 AHB.85
Your love, O God, has called us here TIS.664

John 15: 1-8
Bread of heaven, on you we feed TIS.513 AHB.434
Come, we that love the Lord AHB.356
Like the murmur of the dove's song TIS.419
Lord, you are the light of life to me TIS.261
O stay with us, Lord Jesus TIS.551

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book. TIS = Together in Song)
38 (TIS 118) We give immortal praise/ to God the Fathers's love
289 (TIS 368) This is the day the Lord has made
363 Heart and heart unite together
364 (TIS 440) Christ, from whom all blessings flow
365 Jesus, united by thy grace
462 Jesus, thy boundless love to me
502 (TIS 586) Abide with me
504 (TIS 558) In heavenly love abiding

Sermon summary (Click here for complete sermon)

The true vine

Abide in me, as I abide in you. "Abide" is not a word we use often in everyday speech now. It calls to mind the old hymn "Abide with me". Not perhaps your way of positively affirming life here and now. But don't knock it. It has been a great comfort to many. Good though it is, however, that is not what this text Abide in me is all about. It is about being fruitful in living the life of a disciple of Jesus. To abide in him is stay in communion with the Lord of life.


Such a faithful trust and continuity of commitment is the very opposite of alienation. Jesus was addressing something very basic in who we are and how we live. Alienation is the bane of the post-modern world. Yet belonging and identity are so keenly sought. There was an earlier form of it, much less widespread, in the cultural revolution of the sixties and seventies when they said, "Don't trust anyone over thirty!" People who were separated from their origins, who had lost their roots and were seeking new identities were highly vulnerable to exploitation. Today the situation is more complex and difficult, in ways which need to be explored to overcome alienation from the church and from the source of life.

Old Testament background

The church is sometimes called the new Israel, and it is worth noting that when Jesus spoke of himself as the true vine people would still remember that the nation of Israel had previously been likened to a vine. For example: in Psalm 80:8-19; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 19:10-14; Isaiah 5:1-10; cf. Romans 11:17-24. Restoration of the abandoned unfruitful old vineyard was the work of God in the coming of the Messiah.

Parables of the vineyard were used to explain the Kingdom

In a similar way Jesus told parables about life in vineyards to teach about life in the kingdom: Matthew 20:1-15; Matt. 21:28-32; Mark 12:1-9 [and Matt. 21:33-44, etc.] In these, as in may other ways, Jesus taught what it would mean to be united with himself, the true vine. It is not only about personal devotion, that indwelling certainty of love that comes from knowing the Saviour. True connection with the true vine is indeed about recognizing the Messiah, but in outward actions as well as inward conviction.

Pruning (or cleansing) makes the vine fruitful

The first main point of teaching in this parable of Jesus himself is that unfruitful branches have no place on vine (John 15:2; 4-7). Cleansing or pruning, you might say "discipline" perhaps, is emphasised by reference to the Word which cleanses (John 15:3) . Baptism is of course a symbol of cleaning, and it is by such cleaning that people are brought into relationship with the body of Christ. So discipline, cleaning and belonging go together (John 13:8-10; Matt. 15:13) and fruit is given (Galatians 5:22).

The Lord's Supper, the Eucharist

Among the "outward and visible signs" of connection with the source of life we have been given the sacraments, with the central symbol of the cup of salvation in the blood of Christ (Mark 14:24-25). John 6:32,35,56-58) The true bread [like the true vine] comes down from heaven. `I am the bread of life.' (John 6:53-56) "Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them."

What then does the church offer to an alienated world? A mystery? Yes, indeed. A discipline of worship and service? Why, certainly. Glory to God? Yes, (John 15:8). (John 1:4) in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

Order of Service - Easter 5 Year B

The Gathering of the People of God


Let us worship God who calls us all into his community:
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the LORD. May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him. - Psalm 22:25-27

HYMN O love, how deep, how broad, how high TIS.194 AHB.6


Eternal God, Lord of heaven and earth, we praise you for your greatness. Your wisdom is seen in all your works. Your grace and truth are revealed in Jesus Christ your Son. Your presence and power are given to us through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, 0 blessed Trinity, we worship and adore you for ever and ever. Amen.


Loving God, Lord of the Church, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed: we have not loved you with all our heart or served you with all our strength; we have been blind to the vision of a renewed world and deaf to your call to costly discipleship; we have been indifferent to the suffering of others and unwilling to forgive one another. In your mercy, Lord, pardon and restore us, that together in the ministry of Christ we may serve you with joy all the days of our life. Amen.


In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (2 Corinthians 5:19)
Hear then Christ's word of grace, 'Your sins are forgiven'
Thanks be to God

DOXOLOGY: (Hymn AHB 576)

Now to him who loved us, gave us
every pledge that love could give,
freely shed his blood to save us,
gave his life that we might live,
be the kingdom, and dominion,
and the glory evermore.

Service of the Word

FOR THE OLD TESTAMENT Acts 8:26-40 Philip and the Ethiopian
PSALM 22:25-31 Let all the families of the nations bow before him
EPISTLE 1 John 4:7-12 Let us love one another
GOSPEL John 15:1-8 The true vine

HYMN In heavenly love abiding TIS 588 AHB 504

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]

Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting E&: grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

The Lord's Supper


The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

HYMN Bread of heaven, on you we feed TIS.513 AHB.434


The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Thanks and praise ......
..... choirs of angels and the whole creation in the eternal hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
We thank you ....

[The great prayer of thanksgiving continues, recalling God's goodness in caring for his people, the life and saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ, how he commanded his disciples to remember him with the bread and the wine, and we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit on us and what we do.]


Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.



 The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN Love divine all loves excelling TIS.217 AHB.148
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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