Dear people of faith,
Remember your photos of Pentecost joy to come in by today … we have a lovely collection accumulating. As we get closer to the celebration of the church coming into being, it will be lovely to see the faces of the church this Sunday! And look at your Pentecost Pack for your focus for today. With blessings on your day, Rev’d. Jan
Opening Collect for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
whose Son Jesus Christ said to his apostles,
peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you:
regard not our sins but the faith of your Church,
and grant it that peace and unity that is agreeable to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. APBA p.637
GOSPEL for the Day: John 17: 1-11
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
6 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Meredith Scott-McMahon
This Chapter 17 of St John shines with the passion of Jesus’ love for his Father and for the disciples with whom he has lived, travelled and worked for the previous three years. He has seen their faith develop as the great truths of his teaching have broken through, and taught and encouraged their ministry. Even as the hour of his appalling death approaches, his one great prayer is for them.
He beseeches his Father, not for glory as the world knows it, but for the shining power that comes through strength in faith, singleness of purpose and perseverance and that only God himself bestows.
And above all things, he wants his disciples to experience this glory. He knows he has carried out his mission on earth, and that he has passed on the true teaching of his Father. But his grief at leaving them is manifest in his plea that God will keep them strong and unified ‘keep them in thy name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one’.
We can take his prayer to our hearts. We know that Jesus yearns to keep us in God’s care. We have the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit in times of our separation and anxiety. And we have the assurance that God is holding us secure and helping us endure this current hardship together.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, our Saviour,
you have prayed that we will be one
as you and your Father are one.
Send your Holy Spirit over your people
and help us to work together
for your honour and glory.
Guide and lead us to unity and love,
for the salvation of the world, in your holy name we pray.
Daily Bible Bite (answer tomorrow): In which Gospel do you find the most parables or teachings of Jesus?
From yesterday: In which epistle of St Paul’s does he refer to the folly of the gospel or the foolishness of God?
Answer: 1 Corinthians