Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C
Inspired by John 10:22-30, Psalm 23 and Revelation 7:9-17.
Opening Prayers or Call to Worship
We have gathered here Lord because we have heard your call,
a voice clear and sweet and refreshing.
We are here because we want to become more like you,
to learn from you and to grow in your ways.
As we seek your heart
let our voices express your hope
and our actions be full of your love,
a love which overcomes all.
We have heard a voice calling,
Clear and loud and purposeful.
We want to follow, walking in your footsteps, living your way,
And we also want to have clear voices in a world of background noise.
So we ask that you will give us grace and strength to deal with this world boldly.
In our church Lord, let us build each other up.
Where we see friends stumbling, let us hold them tight.
When we see opportunities to reach out, let us grasp them firmly
And where there are difficulties to overcome, let us be creative
Because this is not our church, it is yours
In our everyday interactions, with friends and colleagues,
With those we chat to at the shops, at school, on the bus,
Let us listen before we talk, let us offer help before we offer opinion,
And let us show humility before we show judgement.
Let our actions and our love speak for themselves.
May the leaders of our nations show some of this same humility
As they tackle the problems we all face.
We don’t just hear of wars and rumours of wars,
But also rumours of financial collapse, social collapse and ecological collapse.
In a world of fear and cynicism and anger
Help all your people to bring calmness and a little bit of your heaven
To a very needy world.
We pray for those working against the odds
To bring help in places of war and famine and terror and just plain neglect.
We pray for those working to bring your healing where no words will do,
And those leading nations where hope has all but been forgotten.
Help them all to work faithfully and with clarity so that your will will be done.
Let your love flow out as your people speak your peace.
Lord, let us not be bystanders or observers,
And prevent us from being grumblers or gossipers.
let us know when to be quiet and to listen
but also let us be creative and passionate, let us be kind and let us heal,
Let us show leadership and good judgement
And most of all, help us to bring your love.