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Sunday Worship - 25th April 2021


Croeso! Bore da! Welcome to you all

Please do make yourself known to me if you are popping in or if I can help in any way.

+Yn enw'r Tad, a'r Mab, a'r Ysbryd Glan. Amen

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN


Alleluia! Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Our opening Hymn is: Christ is made the sure foundation




Heavenly Father, all hearts are open to you.

No secrets are hidden from you.

Purify us with the fire of your Holy Spirit

that we may love and worship you faithfully,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Christ have mercy.

Lord, have mercy. Lord have mercy.


Heavenly Father,

we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and have failed to do

what we ought to have done.

We are sorry and truly repent.

For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ

who died for us, forgive us all that is past,

and lead us in his way

to walk as children of light. AMEN


May God our Father,

who by the Lord Jesus Christ

has reconciled the world to himself

and forgives the sins of all who truly repent,

pardon and deliver us from all our sins,

and grant us the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. AMEN


The Gloria


Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.


The Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter


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.


The Word of God


Acts 4. 5-12


The next day their 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


Biblical text


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff - they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.



The Gospel of Christ according to St John

Glory to you. O Lord.


John 10. 11-18


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.’


This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you, O Christ.

Homily


There is a delightful programme on t.v that we as a family have so enjoyed through all the lockdowns and prior to that too. It is called Our Yorkshire Farm. Is anyone here a follower? It follows a couple who are hill farmers and their large family of children who are presently spread between Raven who is 20 and a second year medic at university and little Nansi who is the only one now left at home, with the others at school, work or university. There is a young lad there, Sidney, who dreams of being a sheep farmer and shepherd. Although he is only about eight he is well on the way to reaching his ambition and cares for the sheep, and he started training his very own sheepdog pup. Sid along with his family don’t have an easy life, but are committed to each other, the family and what I think are rather old fashioned, but honourable principles. It does make for great watching and there is something we can all take from it, applicable for the way we live our lives.


The shepherd is one who is committed to the sheep, to their safety and welfare, to their breeding requirements and the shelter in rough weather. To making sure the sheep are protected from dogs or foxes or whatever might threaten them. It is one of the world’s oldest occupations and one that has in many ways changed little and it is hard and challenging. When we lived in Brecon we were and still are very friendly with sheep hill farmers and saw the difficulties and challenges there for ourselves. It wasn’t an easy or cushy life and farming on the hilltops is so different to the plains and lush valleys, farming around here.

But shepherds from the old days were the lowest of the low and thought of vile and unclean. They were the bottom of society, and some might put them on a par with tax collectors and prostitutes. We hear in our Gospel that the hired helps, didn’t care for the flock but only themselves and the imagery is of running away when the going gets tough or helping themselves to the profits, but the shepherd stays for the full event and only the sheep are his concern.

So Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd, the shepherd who stays with the sheep through thick and thin. Jesus knows his sheep and the sheep know him. Shepherds are sprinkled liberally through the pages of Scripture. The first visitors in the story of the Nativity, the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, the twelve tribes, the prophets Moses, King David, and the Old Testament prophet Amos, who was a shepherd in the rugged area around Tekoa. They guided and cared for the sheep as in our Psalm this morning “The Lord is my Shepherd I will not want,” God will protect and guide you in all things. Sheep too are ever present in the Scriptures. Sheep were an important commodity providing food, wool and milk, they could be traded and did not come as a huge cost, They were moveable so fitted the wandering lifestyle and above all are referred to as an image for the people of God. Sheep are faithful to their handler and can recognise faces and voices of the shepherd.


The issue explained here is that the writer of John’s Gospel states that false shepherds, the hired helps are false, thieves and usurpers and only good shepherd, Jesus, leads his people rightly and brings them to God in love. The life they then experience is the greatest life with the God of love, as seen in Christ’s sacrifice. This is the Good Shepherd who loves so much and gives his all. We are the sheep, sometimes we faithfully following the shepherd, Christ but there are times when we wander off on our own. Always the good shepherd is there keeping an eye out for us. Keeping us safe but allowing to be ourselves. Christ calls us individually, and we follow if we will, and serve as we are able.


Prayers of Intercession and Lord's Prayer

Loving God we pray for all world leaders that, using Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd as the ultimate model of leadership, they would lead and care for their own flocks in such a way that peace might abound, righteousness flourish and injustice be eradicated.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer


Generous God, help us to reach out to strangers in our midst. As we remember the way the early Church lived in one heart and mind and shared everything they had may we too in this Ministry Area be aware of the needs of others less fortunate.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer


Loving God we pray for those who do not know your peace and for those who are struggling with their lives. We ask for your healing on those who are sick, your strength for those who are tired and your love for those who live with despair and fear. We pray for those we know at this time are poorly or in need.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer


Gracious God, we pray for those who now walk in the valley of the shadow of death. We know from the Psalm that you are with them and have gone before them to prepare them a table overflowing with all good things. We remember all who have died, or have their anniversaries at this time. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. Guide those who mourn and comfort them in their sorrow with the knowledge of your love.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer



Merciful Father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.


Our closing hymn is: faithful shepherd, feed me





The Lord be with you

And also with you.


The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and ever more. AMEN

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Ewch mewn tangnefedd i garu a gwasanaethu'r Arglwydd. Alleluia! Alleluia!

If you would like to donate £5 to the overall work of the 12 churches in the parish, please carefully text: GIVE5 to 70970. Thank you, diolch yn fawr.


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