Lectionary -- Easter 7 Year B -- Sunday after Ascension

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Acts 1:15-17,21-26 Matthias chosen in the place of Judas
Psalm 1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked
1 John 5:9-13 Whoever has the Son has life
John 17:6-19 Jesus prays for his disciples

[Readings for Ascension
Acts 1:1-11 After the resurrection appearances, the ascension
Psalm 47 God has gone up with a shout
or Psalm 93 ... majestic on high it the Lord
Ephesians 1:15-23 God seated him at his right hand in glory
Luke 24:44-53 .. he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven]

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
Acts 1: 15-17, 21-26
Holy Spirit, go before us TIS.420
O for a heart to praise my God TIS.568 AHB.476
Spread, O spread, almighty word TIS.450
Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands TIS.496 AHB.417

Psalm 1
Happy are they who walk in God's wise way TIS.1 SA.43

1 John 5: 9-13
Firmly I believe and truly TIS.140 AHB.78
This is the truth we hold TIS.469
To Christ the Prince of peace TIS.335 AHB/CS.604

John 17: 6-19
Christians, lift up your hearts…Praise for the Spirit of God TIS.423
Lord Christ, at your first eucharist you prayed TIS.521 AHB.443
Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word TIS.436
Now is eternal life TIS.385 AHB.305
Son of God, eternal Saviour TIS.606 AHB.529
We are your people, Spirit of grace TIS.468 SA.90

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia.)
68 (TIS 134) Praise my soul the king of heaven
165 (TIS 590) What a friend we have in Jesus
318 (TIS 405) O spirit of the living God
328 (TIS 411) Filled with the Spirit's power, with one accord
373 (TIS 777) May the grace of Christ our saviour
394 (TIS 78) I was overjoyed, Alleluia
486 (TIS 572) O thou who camest from above
555 (TIS 628) In faith and hope and love

For Ascension
140 (TIS 212) Christ, whose glory fills the skies
150 (TIS 218) Jesus the name high over all
159 (TIS 224) All hail the power of Jesus' name
163 (TIS 228) Crown him with many crowns
291 (TIS ) Hail the day that sees him rise, Hallelujah!

Sermon summary (click here for complete sermon)

Unity in Christ

When Jesus prayed for his disciples that they may be one, as we are one he had a high and holy purpose. From a human point of view you could hardly wonder at the reason for it. They were not an especially unified group. They tended to compete with each other and he had to speak to them about that (Mark 9:33-35). There were often differences and divisions in the early church (Galatians 2:11-13; Acts 15:37-40; 1 Corinthians 1:11-13), and Paul wrote to overcome their dissensions (1 Corinthians 12:25). There are many things which divide us and far from being trivial and easily ignored they are big and important issues, but today I want to remind you of the scriptural basis of the commitment to unity.

Some records of the early church give evidence of great love amongst them. For example in the very beginning at Pentecost (Acts 2:44-47). "How these Christians love one another," was a saying amongst pagan observers: a unity which they attributed to Christ (Ephesians 2:14-18), a result of their dwelling in God and God in them (Ephesians 4:4-6). The kind of unity they were to have was the kind of unity that Jesus had with his heavenly Father....that they be one, as we are one (John 17:11,21). The union of Christ with his people, which is the basis of their union with each, other is compared with the feeling we have for our own bodies and with the union of a man and his wife (Ephesians 5:29-32; 1 Corinthians 6:16-17) .

It is not accidental that the human body is used as the image of the unity which is to be desired among the disciples of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Romans 12:4-5).

There is nothing more profoundly characteristic of belonging to Christ than unity. It is constantly to be sought whenever one group is separated from another. So there will be one flock, one shepherd (John 10:16). So too that there will be one table of the Lord, one communion fellowship as there is one baptism into that fellowship: Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread (1 Corinthians 10:17). And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful (Colossians 3:15).

Order of Service - Easter 6 Year B  | DB Home | RCL Resources Index | Questions and Comments |

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ whom God raised up to share the glory he had with him before the world began, and as the Apostle said:
You have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)
We worship you Lord Jesus Christ in your glory. Accept us now in your name, and in the name of God the Creator and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

HYMN 291 Hail the day that sees him rise, Hallelujah!

PRAYER OF ADORATION

We glory in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; who though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor; who went about doing good and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom; who was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin; who became obedient unto death, even the death on the cross; who was dead and is alive for evermore; who opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers; who now lives and reigns in the glory of the Father.

You are the King of Glory, O Christ.

CONFESSION

You are the King of Glory, O Christ, and yet we must confess that we forget that God has honoured you above everything in heaven and on earth.
Forgive us Christ, King of Glory, and help us to remember you in glory.

In your glory with God the Father, you continually pray and intercede for us, yet we forget to pray for ourselves and for others.
Forgive us Christ, our great high priest, and continue to pray for us.

From your glory you have promised to come again to judge the living and the dead, and yet we lose hope and forget to look for you.
Forgive us Christ, our Saviour and Lord, and restore confidence in your eventual victory over all our enemies. In your name, Amen.

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS

The good news is that all who trust in Christ will have their sins forgiven and receive eternal life. As you hold this faith, I declare that you are set free from all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Thanks be to God.

DOXOLOGY: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

WELCOME AND GREETING EACH OTHER

Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Unity in Christ
FIRST READING Acts 1:11 The ascension
PSALM 47 God has gone up with a shout

Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.
For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.
God is king over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted.

EPISTLE 1 John 5:9-13 Whoever has the Son has life
GOSPEL John 17:6-19 Jesus prays for his disciples

HYMN 373 May the grace of Christ our saviour
SERMON
HYMN 328 Filled with the Spirit's power, with one accord

OFFERING AND DEDICATION
SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

A Litany for Christian Unity
Across all our barriers of language, race, and nationality:
Unite us, Jesus.

Across all our mutual ignorance, prejudice and hostility:
Unite us, Jesus.

Across all our differences of thought, outlook, and religious allegiance:
Unite us, Jesus.

O God, for your greater glory:
Gather together your separated people.

O God, for the triumph of goodness and truth:
Gather together your separated people.

O God, that there may be one flock and one shepherd:
Gather together your separated people.

O God, to confound the pride of Satan and his assaults:
Gather together your separated people.

O God, that peace may reign in the world at last:
Gather together your separated people.

O God, for the greater joy of the heart of your Son:
Gather together your separated people.
A prayer of Fr. Couturier of Lyons, France, who initiated the Week of Prayer for the unity of all Christians. From Uniting in Worship.

COLLECT FOR THE DAY
O God, the inexhaustible fount of life, you accepted the offering of your Son, sacrificed for the salvation of the world. Consecrate us in that unity which is your Spirit's gift, that we may abide always in your love and become witnesses of the resurrection. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of the Hymn Book]

The Sending Forth of the People of God

 HYMN 163 Crown him with many crowns
WORD OF MISSION
BLESSING
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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