Introduction & Welcome

Welcome to worship today, God’s gift to us because God is good! all the time!

and all the time! God is good!

The gospel for Easter’s seventh Sunday is always taken from the long prayer Jesus prays for his followers in John’s gospel on the night before his death, and always includes Jesus’ desire that his followers will be one as he and the Father are one. This oneness is not mere doctrinal agreement or institutional unity, but mutual abiding, interpenetrating life, mutual love, and joy. This oneness is the work of the Spirit whom we have received but also await. Come, Holy Spirit!

Thanksgiving for Baptism

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Refreshed by the resurrectional life we share in Christ,

let us give thanks for the gift of baptism.

 We thank you, risen Christ,

for the waters where you make us new,

leading us from death to life, from tears to joy.

We bless you, risen Christ, that your Spirit comes to us

in the grace-filled waters of rebirth,

like rains to our thirsting earth,

like streams that revive our souls,

like cups of cool water shared with strangers.

Breathe your peace on your church when we hide in fear.

Clothe us with your mercy and forgiveness.

Send us companions on our journey as we share your life.

Make us one, risen Christ.

Cleanse our hearts.

Shower us with life.

To you be given all praise,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God,

now and forever.


Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,

the keeper of the covenant,

the source of steadfast love,

our rock and our redeemer.


God hears us when we cry, and draws us close in Jesus Christ. Let us return to the one who is full of compassion.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Fountain of living water,

pour out your mercy over us.

Our sin is heavy, and we long to be free.

Rebuild what we have ruined and mend what we have torn.

Wash us in your cleansing flood.

Make us alive in the Spirit to follow in the way of Jesus,

as healers and restorers of the world you so love.


Beloved, God’s word never fails.

The promise rests on grace:

by the saving love of Jesus Christ,

the wisdom and power of God,

your sins are ☩ forgiven, and God remembers them no more.

Journey in the way of Jesus.

Prayer of the Day

Gracious and glorious God, you have chosen us as your own, and by the powerful name of Christ you protect us from evil. By your Spirit transform us and your beloved world, that we may find our joy in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


First Reading: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

In the days between Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost, Peter oversees the process whereby one of the members of the community of believers is chosen to be the twelfth apostle, in order to fill the vacancy created by Judas’s treachery and death.

15In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, 16“Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus—17for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 21So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” 23So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Psalm: Psalm 1

The Lord knows the way of the righteous. (Ps. 1:6)

1Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked,
nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
2Their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and they meditate on God’s teaching day and night. 
3They are like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do    not wither;
everything they do shall prosper.
4It is not so with the wicked;
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
5Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes,
nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.
6For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked shall be destroyed. 

 Second Reading: 1 John 5:9-13

God has borne witness to the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Whoever believes in the Son of God believes in the witness of God and has the promise of eternal life.

9If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. 10Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. I will not leave you orphaned, says the Lord.* I am coming to you. Alleluia. (John 14:18)

Gospel: John 17:6-19

In this reading the church hears Jesus’ words on the night before his death—his prayer for his disciples and for all who would believe in him through their words.

[Jesus prayed:] 6“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

Meditation by David O’Brien

Generous Father, you have told me to ask you for whatever I need. You said that if I ask, it will be given. If I seek, I will find. If I knock, the door will be opened to me. I ask you for guidance and direction now, Lord, and pray that you would answer my request. You are a perfectly good Father who only ever gives good gifts to his children. You love to give good gifts to those who ask. As your humble child, I ask for the gift of wisdom today. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is having a conversation with His Father. In fact, He’s asking something of Him. If you read the entire chapter, Jesus’ conversation, or prayer, starts with verse 1, where He makes a request for Himself. “Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You.” He also says that He glorified the Father by completing the task to which He had been assigned and asks again that the Father glorify Him in the Father’s presence “with the same glory that [He] had [in the Father’s] presence before the world existed.” I think the last bit about Christ being in the Father’s presence before the world began is important because it reasserts the fact that Christ was with the Father at the beginning. He was not one of the Father’s creations, but was with Him throughout the entire creative process. John started out his Gospel by telling us that “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” (John 1:1-3) I think that John 17:5 quite neatly refers back to John 1 in this fashion.

In verses 6-19, Christ is expressing His concern for His disciples and asking the Father to protect them. I think His concern is quite legitimate. Christ knows what lies ahead of Him. I think it would be fair to say He’s not looking forward to going through that. Knowing how much Jesus loves the disciples, he doesn’t want them to suffer that fate either. I remember in the readings a few weeks ago how the disciples were so afraid of the Jewish leadership that, after Christ’s crucifixion, they locked themselves away for their own protection. It’s interesting how Christ takes ownership of the disciples and, since He and the Father are one, asserts that the Father also has ownership of them. He also likens the oneness He shares with the Father to the oneness He wants the disciples to share. But He doesn’t stop with the disciples. Starting in verse 20 He asks for that protection and oneness to extend to all who believe in Him. He also asks that those whom the Father had given Him would be with Him to see the glory that the Father given Him and know the love the Father has for Him.

Oneness with God sounds like a really great thing to have. It also means oneness with all who believe in Him. That includes all the “others” out there, some of whom we’d rather not be associated with. When I worked in the prison, there were inmates who seemed to genuinely believe in Jesus Christ and wanted to do His will. Prison, being as dark a place as it is emotionally, is a really hard place to live a Christian life and to love all your neighbors. But some of these guys managed to do it as best they could. I remember one guy in particular who worked in the chapel, cleaning, setting things up for the next service and seeing to the practical needs of the Chaplin whenever he could. He always had a smile on his face and would tell everyone to have a blessed day. He was transferred to a lower security prison one day and I know he was sad because he’d become attached to the people at that prison. I never looked up what he, or any of the other inmates, had done to be placed in prison because I feared that it was something really horrible and I had to treat him the same as any other prisoner. I guess I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to see him as a Christian brother if he had killed someone or molested a child or something like that. But when we talk about being one as a Christian community, that includes people like him and guys that have done some pretty bad things. It includes the woman who is addicted to cocaine and can only support herself through theft, or the homeless guy, asking for change on the corner. Christ spent a great deal of time with people we might consider to be ‘the great unwashed’. He wants to achieve oneness with them. Rather than look down our noses at people who have more problems than we do, we should also strive to achieve oneness with them.

Prayers of Intercession

Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring our prayers before God who promises to hear us and answer in steadfast love.

A brief silence.

Holy God, in Christ Jesus the joy of the church is made complete. Root the church in your Word and unify us as Christ’s body. Bless Elizabeth & Daniel, our bishops, and Howard, our pastor. Send us into the world as your loving people, ready to testify to your Spirit at work. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Mighty God, the world is your handiwork, displaying your creative impulse. Seas teem with life, forests reach up to praise you, and the mystery of life lies deep in the soil. Guard and keep this world for the well-being of all your creatures. Teach us to be good stewards of the world which you have lent to us. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Gracious Sovereign, those who follow your ways are like trees planted near streams of water. Establish the leaders of nations and all in authority in your grace and truth. Strengthen them, so that the people they serve will have abundant life. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Generous Savior, you befriend those who are sick, suffering, poor, lonely, outcast, rejected, or sick. Grant healing and love to all in need especially those on our prayer list. Give them tangible signs of your steadfast love. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Creator God, here in this community we share the gift of praying, learning, and supporting one another. Give us thankful hearts as we claim the gifts that are unique to us and keep us from being envious of others with different gifts. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Saving God, your wonderful promise is the gift of eternal life in Jesus. Through the witness of those who have died in you, strengthen us now in this gift of life. We cherish the memory all of your saints, especially those we bring before you now, either silently or aloud. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Together, let us profess our faith using the words of the Apostles Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.* On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.


And now, as our Savior, Christ is teaching us, we boldly pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.


Wellspring of joy,

through the sharing of your word today, you have put gladness in our hearts.

Satisfy the hunger still around us,

and send us as joyful witnesses,

that your love may bring joy to the hearts of all people,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.



May our glorious God grant you a spirit of wisdom

to know and to love the risen Lord Jesus.

The God of life,

Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.



Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Go in peace. Share the good news.

Bless the world and be God’s grace. Alleluia!

Thanks be to God. Alleluia!