Christ Church Constantia
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REFLECTION: Fourth Sunday of Easter
Our readings describe God as the Good Shepherd - apt as we again focus on how God views and regards us and as we begin phase four of lockdown. The harsh lockdown of these past weeks has exposed the fault lines and fissures of the lived experience of many, some, a mere stone’s throw from here. The Prophet Ezekiel calls out the shepherds of his day, those who govern, accusing them of cruelty and heartlessness. Not content, by virtue of their status to enjoy first pick, fill their bellies and move on, they then kick up the mud knowing full well that the rest of the sheep still have to drink! These past days I have seen grown people cry like babies. Hunger and desperation turned to helplessness as parents watch children starve. One thing is clear as we begin our 27thyear of democracy, after this, we cannot simply go back to how it was before. We must revisit our electoral system and ensure greater accountability from our representatives. Seeing government ministers who have in plain sight treated the electorate with such disdain a mere few years ago, now giving daily briefings on care for the destitute is sickening to say the least and an indictment on our hard-won democracy. The poverty we see today is man-made, a direct consequence of greed and heartlessness shown towards the poor and desperate. In one of the psalms an appeal is made directly to the ONE who is the only true Shepherd: Restore us again, O Lord of hosts: show us the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. We also need our humanity restored! The indigenous people of our region used to fill emptied ostrich eggs with water and leave them strategically along the dry desert paths so that struggling travellers could quench their thirst and refresh their weary souls. Now is a time for such restoration as we respond to the Good Shepherd in our care towards each other. Blessings, Terry
Collect of the Day
You are the gate that secures the sheepfold:
grant that all who hear your voice
may know who calls us each by name,
and follow where you lead:
for you live and reign
In the unity of the Blessed Trinity,
One God, for ever and ever.
1 The Lord is my shepherd :
therefore can I lack nothing.
2 He will make me lie down in green pastures :
and lead me beside still waters.
3 He will refresh my soul :
and guide me in right pathways for his name’s sake.
4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil :
for you are with me, your rod and your staff comfort me.
5 You spread a table before me
in the face of those who trouble me :
you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup will be full.
6 Surely your goodness and loving-kindness
will follow me all the days of my life :
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
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 sake,
Acts: 2: 42-47 1 Peter 2: 19-25
Psalm:113 John 10: 1-10
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 10: 1-10
John 13: 13-25
John 10: 22-30
John 14: 1-7
John 14: 7-14
READINGS FOR NEXT WEEK
Acts 7: 55-60
1 Peter 2: 2-10
Psalm 31: 1-5,17-18
John 14: 1-14