Christ Church Constantia
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REFLECTION: Fifth Sunday of Easter
This week the gospel offers us those well-known words of Jesus saying: “I am the way, the truth and the life, no-one comes to the Father except through me.” The danger of such seemingly unequivocal scriptural phrases is that their familiarity can keep us in a place of self-congratulatory complacency rather than challenge us to new ways of experiencing God. For some these words are about Jesus vis-à-vis other religions, faiths or expressions as THE one-and-only way, THE only truth and THE only life. But what if, instead, St John is not narrowing Jesus down to him and him alone in an exclusionary way but rather opening Jesus up in an inclusionary way. Maybe John is showing Jesus as the word made flesh and showing God’s presence and embrace as a broad expanse. Jesus is present, taking in, living in differing human situations like at a wedding in Cana or at the grave of his friend Lazarus. Our father’s house has many rooms we are told, also, that a place has been prepared for all and each. The temptation is to want all the rooms just to ourselves, to decide who can or can’t enter and to treat the space as our house, rather than that our Father. History is replete with stories of those who, instead of celebrating and imitating the broad expanse of the Father’s embrace of our humanity, sought to narrow it to exclusive sameness. Repeatedly people of faith have had to recover from the shame of such exclusion, some are still trying to recover! What if ‘the way’ is broad and ‘the truth’ is all embracing and ‘the life’ more affirming of humanity in all our facets than we ever imaging Jesus to be saying? Maybe that would begin to open the door to a more authentic love and grace to live by in a place where there is room for all. Every blessing, Terry
COLLECT OF THE DAY
Eternal God, your Son Jesus Christ
is the way, the truth and the life for all creation;
grant us grace to walk in his way,
rejoice in his truth, and share his risen life;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
PSALM 31: 1-5, 17-18
1 To you Lord have I come for shelter:
let me never be put to shame.
2 O deliver me in your righteousness:
incline your ear to me and be swift to save me.
3 Be for me a rock of refuge, a fortress to defend me:
for you are my high rock and my stronghold.
4 Lead me and guide me for your name’s sake:
bring me out of the net that they have secretly
laid for me for you are my strength.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit:
you will redeem me O Lord God of truth.
17All my days are in your hand:
O deliver me from the power of my enemies
and from my persecutors.
18Make your face to shine upon your servant:
and save me for your mercy’s sake
God bless the world,
Give it wisdom at this time
Grant us relief and release,
Be with those who are ill,
And bless the carers fighting this pandemic
For Jesus Christ’s sake,
Acts: 7: 55-60 1 Peter 2: 2-10
Psalm:31: 1-5,17-18 John 14: 1-14
Eternal Father, through the resurrection of your Son,
help us to face the future
with courage, assurance and hope,
knowing that nothing in death or life
can ever part us from your love,
made real in your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Contemplative Evening Services in May.
On the four Sunday evenings in May Christ Church will be offering an introductory series of Contemplative Services, live on Zoom. If you have ever asked: “What is Contemplation?”and “How does one do it?”this series is for you. The series is also crafted around the Lectionary readings for May.
You do not have to download Zoom to participate.
Please ‘arrive’ (in the Zoom meeting room) before 18h30 so you have time to solve any technical issues. The Zoom room will be open from 18h20 and Penny will be available to help you. The service will begin promptly at 18h30 with an introduction to Contemplation addressing the questions above, a reading/Lectio Divina, small pockets of silence and music. Final prayer and closure will be at 19h00. All are welcome. See letter attached for more information.
8 am: Morning Prayer
NOON: Mass - Bells to be rung
6 pm: Evening Prayer
Sunday Service podcast will be available on the website.https://christchurchconstantia.weebly.com/service-podcasts.html
GOSPEL READINGS FOR THE WEEK
John 14: 21-26
John 15: 9-11
John 14: 27-31a
John 15: 12-17
John 15: 1-8
John 15: 18-21
READINGS FOR NEXT WEEK
Acts 17: 22-31
1 Peter 3: 13-22
Psalm 66: 7-19
John 14: 15-21