The Fourth Sunday of Easter
For a form of worship in the home based on today’s lessons in the Revised Common Lectionary, go to https://blogs.elca.org/worship/3961/
Ant. I am the good shepherd, alleluia;
I know my sheep and my own know me, alleluia, alleluia.
V. The Lord is my shepherd; *
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures *
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me; *
he revives my soul. John 20, Psalm 23
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires, known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
HYMN: Sylvia G Dunstan ©
Tune: Picardy https://tinyurl.com/756xavy7
1 You, Lord, are both Lamb and Shepherd.
You, Lord, are both prince and slave.
You, peacemaker and sword-bringer
of the way you took and gave.
You, the everlasting instant;
you, whom we both scorn and crave.
2 Clothed in light upon the mountain,
stripped of might upon the cross,
shining in eternal glory,
beggar’d by a soldier’s toss,
you, the everlasting instant;
you who are both gift and cost.
3 You, who walk each day beside us,
sit in power at God’s side.
You, who preach a way that’s narrow,
have a love that reaches wide.
You, the everlasting instant;
you, who are our pilgrim guide.
4 Worthy is our earthly Jesus!
Worthy is our cosmic Christ!
Worthy your defeat and vict’ry;
worthy still your peace and strife.
You, the everlasting instant;
you, who are our death and life.
Psalm 119: 73-104 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y8qj25yx)
73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me *
O give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me *
because I have put my trust in thy word.
75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right *
and that thou of very faithfulness hast caused me to be troubled.
76 O let thy merciful kindness be my comfort *
according to thy word unto thy servant.
77 O let thy loving mercies come unto me, that I may live *
for thy law is my delight.
78 Let the proud be confounded,
for they go wickedly about to destroy me *
but I will be occupied in thy commandments.
79 Let such as fear thee, and have known thy testimonies *
be turned unto me.
80 O let my heart be sound in thy statutes *
that I be not ashamed.
81 My soul hath longed for thy salvation *
and I have a good hope because of thy word.
82 Mine eyes long sore for thy word *
saying, O when wilt thou comfort me?
83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke *
yet do I not forget thy statutes.
84 How many are the days of thy servant *
when wilt thou be avenged of them that persecute me?
85 The proud have digged pits for me *
which are not after thy law.
86 All thy commandments are true *
they persecute me falsely; O be thou my help.
87 They had almost made an end of me upon earth *
but I forsook not thy commandments.
88 O quicken me after thy loving-kindness *
and so shall I keep the testimonies of thy mouth.
89 O Lord, thy word *
endureth for ever in heaven.
90 Thy truth also remaineth from one generation to another *
thou hast laid the foundation of the earth, and it abideth.
91 They continue this day according to thine ordinance *
for all things serve thee.
92 If my delight had not been in thy law *
I should have perished in my trouble.
93 I will never forget thy commandments *
for with them thou hast quickened me.
94 I am thine, O save me *
for I have sought thy commandments.
95 The ungodly laid wait for me to destroy me *
but I will consider thy testimonies.
96 I see that all things come to an end *
but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
97 Lord, what love have I unto thy law *
all the day long is my study in it.
98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies *
for they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than my teachers *
for thy testimonies are my study.
100 I am wiser than the aged *
because I keep thy commandments.
101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way *
that I may keep thy word.
102 I have not shrunk from thy judgements *
for thou teachest me.
103 O how sweet are thy words unto my throat *
yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth.
104 Through thy commandments I get understanding *
therefore I hate all evil ways.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
Psalm 119:73-104 (Karl Kohlhase:
Your hands made me and fashioned me;
help me understand your commandments.
May the fearful see and be glad,
because I wait for your word.
O LORD, I know your judgments are righteous,
and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
May your love become my comfort,
by your word unto your servant.
May your mercy come so I’ll live,
your law is my delight.
May the proud be ashamed of their lies;
while I meditate on your precepts.
May the fearful turn unto me,
even those who know your teachings.
May my heart become blameless in your laws,
so I will not be ashamed.
My soul longs for your salvation;
I wait upon your word.
My eyes go out for your word,
“When will you comfort me?”
Though a wineskin in the smoke,
I will not forget your laws.
How long are the days of your servant?
When will you judge those who hurt me?
For the proud have dug pits for me,
who are not in accord with your law.
All your commandments are faithful;
help me when I’m hurt by their lies!
They have almost destroyed me on earth,
but I’ll not forsake your precepts.
Revive me according to your love,
so I’ll keep the word of your mouth.
Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.
Your faithfulness is for all ages;
you set the earth firm, and it stands.
They stand to this day by your ordinances,
all things are for your servants.
If your law not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you revived me.
I am yours, please rescue me;
for I have sought your precepts.
Though the wicked looked out for my harm;
yet I discerned your teachings.
Saw the limit of all perfection;
your command is exceedingly broad.
O how I love your law!
My meditation all through the day.
Your commands make me wiser than my foes,
for they are ever mine.
I have insight beyond all my teachers,
for your teachings are my meditation.
Understanding more than the aged,
because your precepts I keep.
I’ve restrained my feet from all evil,
that I may keep your word.
I’ve not turned aside from your rulings,
for you yourself have taught me.
O how sweet are your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
From your precepts I get understanding;
so I hate every false way.
O God for whom there are no barriers,
no stones too big to remove,
roll away our resistance to you.
Let your words fill us with new life
and bring us out from the tomb of indifference,
alive again in you.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. CGP
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: Exodus 16:4-15
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.’ So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, ‘In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?’ And Moses said, ‘When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.’
Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.” ’ And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” ’
In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.’
HYMN: James Montgomery
Tune: St Agnes https://tinyurl.com/3we7f3yt
1 Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless
thy chosen pilgrim flock
with manna in the wilderness,
with water from the rock.
2 We would not live by bread alone,
but by thy word of grace,
in strength of which we travel on
to our abiding place.
3 Be known to us in breaking bread,
and do not then depart;
Saviour, abide with us, and spread
thy table in our heart.
4 Lord, sup with us in love divine,
thy Body and thy Blood,
that living bread, that heavenly wine,
be our immortal food.
Reading: 1 John 3:16-24
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.
And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.
HYMN: Fred Kaan ©
Tune: Solothurn https://tinyurl.com/wcdsyz3s
1 Now let us from this table rise
Renewed in body, mind, and soul;
With Christ we die and live again,
His selfless love has made us whole.
2 With minds alert, upheld by grace,
To spread the word in speech and deed,
We follow in the steps of Christ,
At one with all in hope and need.
3 To fill each human house with love,
It is the sacrament of care;
The work that Christ began to do
We humbly pledge ourselves to share.
4 Then grant us grace, Companion God,
To choose again the pilgrim way
And help us to accept with joy
The challenge of tomorrow’s day.
Reading: John 10:11-18
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. When the hired hand sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. That’s because he isn’t the shepherd; the sheep aren’t really his. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. He’s only a hired hand and the sheep don’t matter to him.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I give up my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that don’t belong to this sheep pen. I must lead them too. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock, with one shepherd.
“This is why the Father loves me: I give up my life so that I can take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I give it up because I want to. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it up again. I received this commandment from my Father.”
CANTICLE Revelation 5:12-14 (LBW)
(Richard Hillert setting: https://tinyurl.com/25ev5pcd)
This is the feast of victory for our God.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
1 Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
whose blood set us free to be people of God. [Refrain]
2 Power, riches, wisdom, and strength,
and honor, blessing, and glory are his. [Refrain]
3 Sing with all the people of God,
and join in the hymn of all creation. [Refrain]
4 Blessing, honor, glory, and might
be to God and the Lamb forever. Amen. [Refrain]
5 For the Lamb who was slain
has begun his reign. Alleluia. [Refrain]
THE PRAYERS Joe Milner
For the Church: that we may distinguish the voice of the Good Shepherd from all the other messages that we hear and faithfully respond to all Christ’s invitations
For a spirit of openness: that we may allow the saving work of Jesus to heal and bring us to wholeness so that the power of the resurrection may be manifest to all the human family
For Pope Francis: that God will give him strength, help him model the dedication of the Good Shepherd, and be a good example for all church leaders
For bishops, priests, and all who minister in the Church: that they may draw strength and inspiration from the Good Shepherd, model in word and deed Christ’s dedication to the children of God, and serve their communities with the heart of the Good Shepherd
For all who are laying down their lives in caring for sick children, the developmentally disabled, the elderly, or terminally ill: that God will renew them and fill them with energy and love
For all who are searching: that the Good Shepherd will find them and lead them to a fuller life with purpose and a sense of belonging
For greater stewardship of the earth: that God will inspire us to care for God’s creation and ensure that it benefits all of God’s children
For all who are preparing for Confirmation this spring: that they will be open to the gifts that the Holy Spirit offers them and that they will enrich the church with their talents and energy
For all run-away teens: that the Good Shepherd will care for them and lead them to a place of safety and healing
For all who are burdened by debt in the third world: that the Good Shepherd will touch hearts and open our understanding toward the longings and hopes of all who struggle with poverty
For all who have neglected their responsibilities as pastoral leaders: that the Good Shepherd will heal those who have been injured and transform these leaders into true shepherds to God’s people
For all discerning their life calling: that young people may listen carefully to God’s invitations and courageously respond to God with trusting faith and generous love
For children in dangerous situations: that God will protect the children at the border, those who live in areas of warfare and violence, or whose home life is unsafe from harm and injury
For leaders of nations: that God will give them a heart like the Good Shepherd, compassion toward those who are suffering, and wisdom to develop policies that advance the common good
For an end to violence: that the Good Shepherd will protect all of God’s children from random shootings, domestic violence, hate crimes, and acts of terrorism
(Traditional chant: http://oremus.org/chant/LP-1940.mp3)
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 and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Shepherd of all,
by laying down your life for your flock
you reveal your love for all.
Lead us from the place of death
to the place of abundant life,
that guided by your care for us,
we may rightly offer our lives
in love for you and our neighbors. Amen. RCLP
Go in peace, alleluia, alleluia!
Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia!
Glory to God whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine:
Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church,
and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21
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BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.
RCLP Revised Common Lectionary Prayers. © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.
CGP Celebrating God’s Presence. © United Church of Canada.
The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reading from John is © Common English Bible.
The traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language version of Psalm 119 is by Karl Kohlhase http://www.k4communications.com/karl/index.html
Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.
Compilation © 2021 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.