Sunday 19th April 2020

Welcome

Welcome to our ‘Church at Home’ service for the 19th April. Here you’ll find everything you need to worship at home this morning; bible readings, prayers, a story for the children, and hymns to listen to or sing along with. Our minister is taking a few days off this week so there is not our usual video, but there is a sermon to read and reflect on.

Call to Worship – psalm 16

Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Hymn 431 – Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Scripture Sentence – 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

Collect for the second Sunday of Easter

Almighty and eternal God,
the strength of those who believe
and the hope of those who doubt,
and we, who have not seen, have faith
and receive the fullness of Christ’s blessing,
who is alive and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Reading john 21:1-14

After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way.  Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

The Lord’s Prayer

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.

Children’s Story – “Jesus forgives Peter”

Children’s Praise – My God is Powerful

Reading john 21:15-19

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’

Sermon

This morning we are looking at the last chapter of John’s gospel. For much of this year we have been studying though parts of this book, looking at the miraculous signs of Jesus and then account of his death and resurrection. In John 20:29-31 we come to these verses, “Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.’ Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

You might expect that to be the end of the book, leaving the reader with the question of what we believe about Jesus. But that’s not the finish, there is one final story John wants to tell. He wants to show what comes next after belief. Jesus wants believers who follow him; who live a life of daily dependance on his grace and to testify to the truth of who he is.

The story begins in the days following the resurrection and the disciples are back at Galilee. I imagine they were still trying to understand and process all that happened over the last few days, and perhaps trying to decide about what to do next. When Peter announces that he is going fishing, the others join him but all night they catch nothing.

A voice on the shore shouts out the them, “Lads! have you not caught any fish?”

“No”, they answer. The voice belonged to Jesus but they didn’t realise it was him, not yet anyway.

He tells them to cast the net on the other side. And they follow his instruction and catch an amazing 153 fish!

This is a miracle, and John reflects and realises that it can only be Jesus. He says to Peter, “It is the Lord!” (v.7) Peter excitedly puts on his coat and jumps into the water and swims to shore, leaving the others to struggle with the fish. When they arrive they see that Jesus has prepared breakfast for them and invites them to join him.

The point Jesus is making is very simple; you can’t live the Christian life without him. It is impossible to do it in your own strength. If you are not living life in daily dependence on his grace, then your net will always be empty. As Jesus had already told them, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do…nothing.” (John 15:15)

Every morning Jesus prepares a breakfast for us and invites us to join him. He has prepared the grace, the strength, the wisdom we need for the day. And we receive it through the disciplines of prayer, bible reading and trusting in him. The disciples do not reject Christ’s invitation or make excuses of being too busy. They come to him and as they eat, they know its him and their confidence in his resurrection grows.

After the meal there is some business to discuss, there is something that needs to be addressed. The last time Peter was around a charcoal fire, it was the night of Jesus’ trial when he denied to be a follower of Jesus three times.

So Jesus asks him, “Do you truly love me more that these?” (v.15)

“You know that I do”, Peter replies. Jesus says “Feed my Sheep”

This happens three times, by the third time Peter is grieved, because after the third time he understands Jesus is referencing his denials. However this is not a moment of shame, this is a process of forgiveness where Jesus is reinstating Peter in his role as an apostle and he instructs him to feed his sheep. And Peter does, he will go on to do great and amazing things for God. After pentecost he will preach and thousands will believe and follow Jesus.

John finishes his book by saying that there is so much more to write, that even if the whole world was full of books, and every one of them was about Jesus, there would still be more. (v.25)

There’s always more. Christ is enough to fill eternity. The risen Jesus, invites us all to follow him, to go on a journey to each day discover more of the fullness of who he his. To believe the truth that he is the Christ, the Son of God. To daily depend on his grace, to talk with him in prayer, and to play our part in sharing his gospel with the whole world!

A prayer from here for everywhere in this global pandemic

Lord of all the earth,
In this moment of global pandemic,
our horizons are suddenly expanded.
Hard borders on the island of Ireland,
trade borders in the Irish Sea,
building bridges to Scotland,
seem so much less important
when politics is paralysed and retail has receded.
All our insular red lines are increasingly fading to pink.
Suddenly we are interested in what is happening in Italy,
keen to learn from the experiences of countries like China.
Impress upon us in these days that we really are global disciples:
part of a bigger church and world,
called to live with love locally to those from
whom we are socially distanced, 
but also to pray with passion for those from
whom we are spatially distanced and will never meet.
Hear our prayer,
for nations near and far,
for peoples of every tribe and tongue,
for the global effort to fight this virus.
Remind us that, 
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun,
Does his successive journey’s run;
His Kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till suns shall rise and set no more. 

Lord of all peoples,
hear our prayer from this place,
for your world.
In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Hymn 211 – I will sing the Wondrous Story

Final Prayer

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all, evermore.

Amen.


Announcements


Last Week’s Easter Greetings

Gordon and Norma, “Greetings and love to all our friends in St Andrew’s. Let’s hope we can meet again before too long”

Kingson, “Happy Easter everybody,
Christ is risen
Death has been conquered
It does not have the last say
Our Lord reigns
And nothing will ever separate us from his love
Glory hallelujah
He is risen indeed
Hopefully will see you all again and soon

Jo and Sean, “A lovely service today. Happy Easter all, we hope you are all staying safe and well.”

Hazel, Ethel and Bill, “A lovely service. Thank you Andrew, and a very happy Easter to all.”

Shirley Lew, “Happy Easter to all! Thank you Andrew for a lovely service. I look forward to seeing you all in brighter times ahead.”

Annette Luddy,  “A very blessed, peaceful, safe and happy Easter to all my newfound friends in St Andrew’s. With love in the Lord.”

Leslie & Edna Gill, “To All at St.Andrews worshiping at home, we join with you in this celebration of Easter Day.

Kat, Matt and Tenley, “Alleluia. Christ is risen indeed. Happy Easter to all.”

Maimie and Lorna, “Happy Easter to all in St Andrews”

The Harty Family, “From all of us, we wish all of our brothers and sisters in the St Andrews family a happy Easter and that God will keep you safe and well until we meet again.”

Avril Young, “Thank you Andrew for coming into our homes this morning and making it feel more like an Easter Sunday in these difficult times. Stay safe and Happy Easter.”

Use the form below to add your own greeting and say hello to the others who are having ‘Church at Home’ today!