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OPENING SENTENCE OF SCRIPTURE –

Happy are they who walk in the law of the Lord.

HYMN 

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this:

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION

God is love and we are God’s children. There is no room for fear in love. We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

SILENCE

God our Father,

we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

God, who is both power and love,

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA sung by Sue St Joseph

COLLECT

Almighty God,

grant that with our minds set always

on your wisdom and love,

we may pursue both in word and deed

those things that are pleasing in your sight;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God world without end. Amen

PROCLAIMING & RECEIVING GOD’S WORD

FIRST READING: Jeremiah 17: 5-10 read by Kate Lidwell

Thus says the Lord:
Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
and make mere flesh their strength,
whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see when relief comes.
They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 – The Bible Wallpapers

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.

The heart is devious above all else;
it is perverse—
who can understand it?
I the Lord test the mind
and search the heart,
to give to all according to their ways,
according to the fruit of their doings.

SILENCE

SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 read by Andrew Ratnam

The Resurrection of the Dead

Ds Petri de Kock - Message from 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 - YouTube

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died[a] in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died

GRADUAL HYMN

GOSPEL READING Luke 6: 17-26 read by Rev Janice Aiton

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Luke chapter 6 beginning at verse 17

Glory to Christ our Saviour

Jesus Teaches and Heals

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

Blessings and Woes

Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
    for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.

Live Like Jesus - Brenda Walsh Scripture Images

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now,
    for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
    for you will mourn and weep.

Luke 6:26 "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did  their fathers to the false prophets." | False prophets, Bible prophecy,  Luke 6

“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious Gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord.

SERMON

Into the Beyond / Series - Andover Baptist Church

How can any of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? Paul tackles in our epistle one of the key questions frequently asked, is there life after death? Before we look at this question more closely, let me share a story first of all that might get us thinking.

It is a story about a colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud at the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in a whole one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of the lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more. Look- said one of the water bugs to another. One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you suppose she is going? Up, up, it went slowly. Even as they watched the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it did not return. That’s funny said one water bug to another. Wasn’t she happy here? asked a second water bug. Where do you suppose she went, wondered a third, no-one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.

Finally, one of the water bugs, the leader of the colony gathered its friends together. I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where she went and why. We promise they said solemnly. One spring day not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing the lily stalk. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water and had fallen onto the broad green lily pad above. When he awoke, he looked around with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture of the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself above the water. He had become a dragonfly. Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by, the dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest.

10 Fascinating Facts About Dragonflies

Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why he was right above his old friends, the water bugs. He remembered his promise-without thinking the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly hit the surface of the water and bounced back. Now that he was a dragonfly he could no longer go into the water. I can’t return said the dragonfly in dismay. At least I tried but I can’t keep my promise. Even if I go back, none of the water bugs would recognise me in my new body. I guess I will just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what happened to me and where I went.

Just as the water bugs are curious about the mystery of life beyond the quiet pond, so we are equally curious about the mystery of life beyond death. William Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet called death “the undiscovered country from whose border no traveller ever returns.” Can we really believe that we will live after we die? This is perhaps one of the great challenges to our thinking where faith is demanded. When we die, is there something more? For us, the question is do we go out of existence after the body dies? Some of the Christians in Corinth had difficulty understanding and believing in the resurrection of the dead. It was not that they denied that Jesus rose from the dead. They believed in that, for they were Christians and they had received and stood in this gospel message of the resurrection. But they did not fully understand what the resurrection of Jesus meant for them. Why does the resurrection of Jesus matter? What does his resurrection mean for us? The apostle Paul answers these questions in two parts. First, the apostle Paul explains what it means if there is not a resurrection of the dead, and then Paul explains what it means since there is a resurrection of the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is  Christ not risen:

Paul begins by stating the problem. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then this means that Christ has not been raised from the dead either. These two events go hand in hand. Paul makes a very powerful point. These two events cannot be separated. The resurrection of Christ occurred so that the resurrection of the dead would occur. The first was done to accomplish the second. If the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised because that is the whole meaning of the resurrection. What the Corinthian people fail to recognize is the purpose of Jesus’ resurrection. His resurrection is not a singular act. His resurrection is our hope for our resurrection. What happened to Jesus is what will happen to us. Preaching a risen Jesus means preaching that we also will be raised like he was raised. Paul’s point is that these two resurrections stand together or fall together. You cannot have one without the other. The two resurrections are bound together as one. Paul is now going to give six implications that must be accepted if there is no resurrection of the dead. This is to prove to his audience beyond a doubt that there must the resurrection of the dead.

If Christ has not been raised, then there are serious problems that we encounter.

Firstly -Preaching is meaningless. Without the resurrection, then there is nothing worth preaching. The good news becomes bad news. If death is not conquered, then we have nothing to preach to the world. If we do not believe that we will be raised from the dead, then Paul asks, “What are we preaching?” Why are we telling people to believe in Jesus if the consequence is the same? What is there to declare? When you die that you are still dead? It does not make any sense!

Faith is without substance. The second implication is that our faith is without substance. Believing in such a gospel has no value. A dead saviour cannot give life. The people in Hebrews 11 who died in faith would have been faithful for nothing. They were mistreated and killed for nothing. This is why Paul began this section declaring that the resurrection is the heart of the gospel. There is no gospel and there is no reason for faith if the dead are not raised.

The apostles are liars. All witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus are liars. They claim Jesus rose from the dead but must be considered false witnesses worthy of death. Then the people who wrote the scriptures are liars and deceivers. They were not innocently mistaken. They were liars. Their words are false, their writings are false, and they are not to be believed at all.

Faith is futile and we are still in our sins. No resurrection means sin won over Christ and continues to win over all people. If Jesus remained dead, then we remain dead. Therefore, the power of sin remains. The power of sin is death. If Jesus was not raised, then his death accomplished nothing for me. The resurrection of Jesus validated the work of his death on the cross in forgiving my sins. Listen to the words of the apostle Paul to the Romans: If Jesus rose, then the power of death is broken and final victory is assured.

Dead believers have perished. If Jesus did not raise from the dead, then the destiny for all people, even believers in Jesus, is eternal torment. The phrase “fallen asleep” is a polite way to speak of the dead. It is the same as how we say that someone has “passed away” rather than “died.” But the meaning is the same. If Jesus did not raise, then the dead stay dead and there is no hope of eternal life. The human terror of death as a gloomy portal leading to oblivion and divine condemnation is justified. If Christ is not raised, then when we die we are at best rotting away and at worst in eternal torment.

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We are to be pitied. If Jesus did not raise from the dead, then the Christian life looks stupid. We must be pitied for our whole life has been a sham, a charade, and a joke. We deserve the compassion reserved for fools. The apostles have suffered and sacrificed for nothing. Christians have suffered and sacrificed for nothing. We have been living the wrong way if this is the only life to live. No resurrection means we need to revert back to selfish living because this is your one and only time to live. We must be pitied for not doing so for we have wasted our lives and wasted our time if Jesus has not risen.

Verse 20 declares the reality. Christ has been raised from the dead. His resurrection is a fact- he was seen by over 500 people and not by all at the same time. But here is the key: Christ guarantees our resurrection. Paul describes Christ’s resurrection as a first fruit. The first fruit in the Old Testament was not only prior to the main harvest, but was the assurance that the rest of the harvest was coming. The first fruits were a representative sample of the crop. Jesus’ resurrection requires our resurrection! Jesus experienced a permanent resurrection of the body, never to die again, unlike all the other resurrections we read in the scriptures. Jesus’ resurrection was the only one where the person never died again. Jesus was the first to rise and never die again. His act guarantees our resurrection, never to die again. As we noted in our Luke study but it is worth noting again, Jesus did not experience a spiritual resurrection. He experienced a bodily resurrection. They saw him and he was not a ghost. They talked with him and touched him. Jesus ate with them. Jesus rose from the grave in a bodily resurrection. The teaching that Jesus is the first fruit of the resurrection is powerful. It means that what happened to Jesus will happen to us. His resurrection is the proof of our resurrection. So can we really believe that there is life after death….yes Jesus resurrection is proof of our resurrection. We will be raised up and we will have a new resurrection body.

Let me conclude with a story which is worth reading as it highlights well the point that there is life beyond what we see here on earth.

Watch In The Womb Videos Online - National Geographic Channel - India

Twins are talking to each other in the womb.  The sister said to the brother, “I believe there is life after birth.”  Her brother protested vehemently, “No, no, this is all there is. This is a dark and cosy place, and we have nothing else to do but to cling to the cord that feeds us.” The little girl insisted, “There must be something more than this dark place. There must be something else, a place with light where there is freedom to move.” Still, she could not convince her twin brother. After some silence, the sister said hesitantly, “I have something else to say, and I’m afraid you won’t believe that, either, but I think there is a mother.” Her brother became furious. “A mother!” he shouted. “What are you talking about?” I have never seen a mother, and neither have you. Who put that idea in your head? As I told you, this place is all we have. Why do you always want more? This is not such a bad place, after all. We have all we need, so let’s be content.”

5-22-16 WHAT WE BELIEVE: I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body - Caddo  Mills United Methodist Church

The sister was quite overwhelmed by her brother’s response and for a while didn’t dare say anything more. But she couldn’t let go of her thoughts, and since she only had her twin brother to speak to, she finally said, “Don’t you feel these squeezes every once in a while? They’re quite unpleasant and sometimes even painful.” “Yes,” he answered. “What’s special about that?” “Well”, the sister said, “I think that these squeezes are there to get us ready for another place, much more beautiful than this, where we will see our mother face-to-face. Don’t you think that’s exciting”

There is life beyond death- there is resurrection and this is good news. Amen

THE CREED

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

God from God,

Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

PRAYERS

God of the resurrection

Strengthen and renew us

Loving God you have shown in Jesus your love for us,

so we entrust to you now our cares and concerns.

Gracious God, we come before you with faltering faith

with doubts and anxieties,

teach us to wait patiently on your presence

rekindle within us the gift of grace and gratitude.

God of the resurrection

Strengthen and renew us

The 60 Integrity Quotes - lovequotesmessages

Generous God, may our society be mindful of

those who have particular difficulties.

May our laws testify to our sense of justice,

honour and integrity;

may the world’s leaders be wisely advised

and honestly motivated.

God of the resurrection

Strengthen and renew us

Compassionate God, we lift to you those

whose homes and families have been destroyed

by storms, earthquakes or war,

and pray that they will receive

the international help and support they need.

We pray especially for families in Haiti and Madagascar

as they seek to rebuild their lives,

after the devastating landslides and flooding.

God of the resurrection

Strengthen and renew us

Faithful God, we pray for all

who are under stress or strain at this time,

we ask that they may experience your faithful presence and love.

Give them coping skills and mechanisms

and grant them your peace and comfort.

God of the resurrection

Strengthen and renew us

coronavirus photo – Free Corona Image on Unsplash

Wise and all understanding God,

we pray for all who suffering from Covid

and its long term after effects

and from those battling with other infections and life- threatening diseases.

Give courage to the long-term and chronically ill

and give respite to those who are at their wits’ end.

Hear our prayer for those known to us

that are sick or suffering at this time,

and touch them with your healing and love.

God of the resurrection

Strengthen and renew us

Gentle God, we remember those

who have lost loved ones recently.

Grant them your peace and comfort.

We lift to you those for whom

this month is the anniversary of the death of a loved one.

May they know your solace

and be filled with your loving presence.

God of the resurrection

Strengthen and renew us

350+ Gratitude Pictures [HD] | Download Free Images on Unsplash

Holy God, with great thankfulness we praise you

for your constant faithfulness to us,

your recognition of our deepest thoughts

and your desire for our healing and wholeness.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those+

who sin against us.

Do not bring us

to the time of trial+

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and forever. Amen.

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BLESSING

Christ the Son of God gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

HYMN

DISMISSAL

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

In the name of Christ. Amen

Welcome

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.

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Notices

Contemporary Service

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.

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