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O, Lord, who give unto each nation its place and time and mission: grant us the gift of unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that the ancient church, and all Christians of this land, each loyal to their confession, culture and nationality, may discover new forms of common Christian witness, and stand before the divided world as a united and humble fellowship. O Lord, who commanded your disciples to pray both for their neighbours and their enemies: give us such love for one another, that with one voice

OPENING

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
              Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Praise the Lord!
              Praise the name of the Lord;
              give praise, O servants of the Lord,

Glory to the Father, and to the + Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

PSALMODY

Psalm 135:1-7, 13

Praise the Lord!
    Praise the name of the Lord;
    give praise, O servants of the Lord,

you that stand in the house of the Lord,
    in the courts of the house of our God.
    Praise the name of the Lord;
    give praise, O servants of the Lord,

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
    sing to God’s name, for God is gracious.
    Praise the name of the Lord;
    give praise, O servants of the Lord,

For I know that the Lord is great;
    our Lord is above all gods.
    Praise the name of the Lord;
    give praise, O servants of the Lord,

Whatever the Lord pleases he does,
    in heaven and on earth,
    in the seas and all deeps.
    Praise the name of the Lord;
    give praise, O servants of the Lord,

He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth;
    he makes lightnings for the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

    Praise the name of the Lord;
    give praise, O servants of the Lord,

Your name, O Lord, endures forever,
    your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
    Praise the name of the Lord;
    give praise, O servants of the Lord,

 

Song: Hristos a înviat din morti – “Christ is risen from the dead” (Romania)

WORD

A Reading from the First Letter of John

Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked. Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness. (1 John 2:3-11)

L:           Holy Wisdom, Holy Word.
C:          Thanks be to God.

REFLECTION

Rev. Dr Philip Lok, Regional Secretary Asia, LWF

Song: O God Beyond All Praising

1 O God beyond all praising, we worship you today
and sing the love amazing, that songs cannot repay;
for we can only wonder, at every gift you send,
at blessings without number, and mercies without end:
we lift our hearts before you, and wait upon your word,
we honour and adore you, our great and mighty Lord.

2 Then hear, O gracious Saviour, accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favour, may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrows, be filled with good or ill,
we'll triumph through our sorrows, and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty, and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty, our sacrifice of praise.

Lyrics by Michael Perry (1942 - 1996)

PRAYERS

Intercessory Prayer

In this time of ongoing physical distancing and waiting, our hearts are turned to you, O Risen Lord.

God,

We give thanks for the peoples and churches of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. We give thanks for the blending of Christian traditions and practices, from the East and West, and for the faithful witness of churches amid many political changes. In Jesus, the Risen Lord, we pray:

Hear our cry!

God,

Sustain the efforts of many in these countries who seek better relationships among different ethnic groups and traditions and respect for the rights of children, women, the young and the elderly, so they can receive adequate education, jobs and health care. In Jesus, the Risen Lord, we pray:

Hear our cry!

God,
Embolden religious leaders to confront unsubstantiated rumours and conspiracy theories that undermine public trust in science and in health authorities. Encourage them to speak up for the marginalized so that public policy decisions benefit all equally.
In Jesus, the Risen Lord, we pray:
Hear our cry!

God,
who came into this world as a stranger to redeem us; who was welcomed by the Egyptians, when you had to flee from your home in the times of the Herod’s persecution. Give us your Spirit, so that we too may welcome all immigrants and refugees. In Jesus, the Risen Lord, we pray:
Hear our cry!

God,
Praise be you for families and for the togetherness and support of the family. Give us your Spirit, so that we see our family not as the source of our own pride and power, but the solid grounding which enables us to be disciples, supporting our neighbours and open towards the unknown. In Jesus, the Risen Lord, we pray:

Hear our cry!

God,

Accompany and heal all those who are ill with COVID-19 and with the many other diseases for which we do not yet have a cure. Strengthen all health care workers, staff persons, everyone helping to abet the spread of COVID-19. In Jesus, the Risen Lord, we pray:

Hear our cry!

God,

Accompany and sustain your people around the globe, those in places knowing continued violence and oppression, especially the people of Myanmar. In Jesus, the Risen Lord, we pray:

Hear our cry!

God,

Accompany and comfort those who despair, who suffer from mental illness, who are fearful and anxious. As you accompanied the disciples on the road to Emmaus, accompany all those persons we now name in the chatroom or in silence. In Jesus, the Risen Lord, we pray:

Hear our cry!

God,

Accompany and renew the whole cosmos in this time of pause and renew our commitment to care of creation. In Jesus the Risen Lord, we pray:

Hear our cry!

(Intercessions 4-5 adapted based on prayers by the author, Áron Bence, pastor of Alberti Lutheran Congregation, Hungary)

Concluding Prayer

O, Lord, who give unto each nation its place and time and mission: grant us the gift of unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that the ancient church, and all Christians of this land, each loyal to their confession, culture and nationality, may discover new forms of common Christian witness, and stand before the divided world as a united and humble fellowship.
O Lord, who commanded your disciples to pray both for their neighbours and their enemies: give us such love for one another, that with one voice and one heart we may glorify your name, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

(Dr Ion Bria, Romanian Orthodox Church. WAGP p. 161)

THE LORD’S PRAYER

(in our many languages)

Let us bless the Lord. 
Thanks be to God.

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus
Amen.

The peace of Christ be with you all!