Holy Cross Church Binstead &

St Peter Havenstreet

7th Sunday of Easter

Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter – the Sunday after Ascension - 2022

Collect for the Sunday after Ascension – O God the king of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven; we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 16, verses 16 to 34

Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future.  She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.  She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”  She kept this up for many days.  Finally, Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!”  At that moment the spirit left her.  When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.  They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”  The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods.  After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.  When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.  The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself!  We are all here!”  The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.  He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household.”  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.  At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.  The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God - he and his whole household.

A Reading from the book of Revelation, chapter 22, verses 12 to 14, 16 to 17, 20 to 21

I, John, heard a voice saying to me: “Look, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.  “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”  And let the one who hears say, “Come!”  Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.  He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.  Amen.

A Reading from the gospel of John, chapter 17, verses 20 to 26

“My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one - I in them and you in me - so that they may be brought to complete unity.  Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.  “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.  I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Post Communion Collect – Eternal God, giver of love and power, your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world to preach the gospel of his kingdom; confirm us in this mission and help us to live the good news we proclaim; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

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