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REFLECTION: Sixth Sunday of Easter
As we approach Ascension Day I am reminded of this day in 1978 when I attended the Diocesan Selection Conference at Bishopscourt together with about 12 others, all male. A few weeks later I received a letter which read, “My dear Terence, I am thankful to God that you have responded to what I believe is a vocation to the full-time ministry in the Church of God. I am pleased to tell you that you have been accepted as an ordinand in the Diocese of Cape Town.” It was signed +Bill Cape Town. I was 17 and in my matric year at South Peninsula in Kendal Road. I recall my reaction being more shock and surprise than awe and excitement as I had little or no idea what exactly it all meant or what I was letting myself in for. I still wonder, even after 42 years, whether it was a leap of faith on my part or if I had simply sleep-walked into this! So, I regard Ascension Day as an opportunity for me to reflect on what vocation means today here and now. The disciples, we are told, ‘stood looking up into heaven’, maybe in shock and surprise not knowing what being witnesses entailed or what their futures would look like. We are here because of the witness of others who, over the years, believed and said ‘yes’ notwithstanding very real doubts and uncertainties or where it would lead to. I do wonder, though, where the time has gone! Terry
Acts: 17: 22-31 1 Peter 3: 13-22
Psalm:66: 7-19 John 14: 15-21
COLLECT FOR THE DAY
O God, you reveal yourself in love:
pour into our hearts such love towards you,
that we, loving you in all things and above all things,
may obtain your promises,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and ever.
PSALM 66: 7-19
7 O bless our God you peoples:
and cause his praises to resound.
8 Who has held our souls in life:
who has not suffered our feet to slip.
9 For you have proved us O God:
you have tried us as silver is tried.
10 You brought us into the net:
you laid sharp torment on our loins.
11 You let men ride over our heads, we went through fire and water:
but you brought us out into a place of liberty.
12 I will come into your house with burnt offerings:
and I will pay you my vows.
13 The vows that opened my lips:
that my mouth uttered when I was in trouble.
14 I will offer you burnt offerings of fattened beasts with the sweet smoke of rams:
I will sacrifice a bull and the flesh of goats.
15 Come then and hear all you that fear God:
and I will tell what he has done for me.
16 I called to him with my mouth:
and his praise was on my tongue.
17 If I had cherished wickedness in my heart:
the Lord would not have heard me.
18 But God has heard me:
he has heeded the voice of my prayer.
19 Praise be to God: who has not turned back my prayer
or his steadfast love for me.
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,
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.
GOSPEL READINGS FOR THE WEEK
John 15: 26-16: 4a
Luke 24: 44-53
John 16: 4b - 11
John 16: 20-24
John 16: 12 - 20
John 16: 23b-28
SUNDAY READINGS FOR NEXT WEEK
Acts 1: 6-14
1 Peter 4: 12-14; 5: 6-11
Psalm 68: 1-10, 32-35
John 17: 1-11