The Parishes of Crail and St Ayle
Reflections from Rev. John Murray
Sunday May 2nd 2021
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us worship God together.
John 15:1-8 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
We have come from different places,
with different prayers in our hearts,
and different challenges in our lives.
But united now, with one voice, we say,
thank you, Jesus, for uniting us through your love
and rooting us in our church fellowship,
where we can grow and learn. You are the vine, we are the branches. May we bear the fruits of love.
When we are tempted to go our own way,
forgive us, and draw us back to the vine of your Church.
When we are tempted to ignore the worries of our friends,
forgive us, and draw us back to the vine of your kindness.
When we are tempted to stop praying for the needs of the world,
forgive us, and draw us back to the vine of your love.
Help us to be ever growing and joyful in our faith, through Christ our Saviour, Amen
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,
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
Abiding in Jesus
Abiding in Jesus first of all means having a life-giving connection to him. A branch is connected to the vine, and a vine to the branch. If there is no connection, there is no life, no fruit. Abiding also implies dependence. The branch is dependent on the vine, but the vine is not dependent on the branch. The branch derives its life and power from the vine. Without the vine, the branch is useless and powerless. Sap flows from the vine to the branch, supplying it with water, minerals, and nutrients that make it grow. And believers receive the “sap” of Christ’s grace through our life-giving connection to him.
Abiding also means to remain, or continue. This simply means that we go on trusting, that we keep on depending, that we never stop believing. To abide in Jesus is to persevere in Jesus and his teaching. Jesus said “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Prayers for the world
Jesus Christ, the true vine, in our need we come to you,
in weakness, needing your strength
for we too easily become dry and lifeless
without your life-giving spirit. Jesus Christ, the true vine,
teach us to remain in you
and so to find your life flowing in us
giving strength and vigour to our discipleship.
Our minds turn to images of violence we have seen
on the news in places of fear and terror,
to where people are at loggerheads,
over race, religion, land, power.
Our thoughts turn to Christians living with persecution
who face danger, simply for being linked to You.
Father, prune back all that stands in the way of peace.
Our thoughts turn to people in leadership and power
– who have decisions to make over the economy
and people whose jobs and livelihood will be affected.
We pray for our nation, and its leaders.
May changes and choices be shaped by the values of Your kingdom.
On our hearts are people in need in our church and community.
Wherever hearts are breaking …bodies are failing …
minds are confused …families are troubled …
Lord, come with your help and healing.
Here, too, as your church in this part of your vineyard
we give thanks for the saints of the past
and the fruit they have borne in our community and beyond.
Like them, help us to remain in you
that we may be fruitful
and bring glory to your name, through Jesus Christ, the true vine.
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together
Made for the glory of God,
Purchased by His precious Son;
Born with the right to be clean,
For Jesus the victory has won.
You are the family of God,
You are the promise divine;
You are God's chosen desire,
You are the glorious new wine.
Let us be strong in Jesus and flourish.
Let us be rooted in Jesus and fruitful.
Let us abide in Jesus and be blessed,
And the blessing of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be with us now and always.