Morning Service for the Third Sunday of Easter 2022


I wonder if there is, like Paul, a new name we need to be considering, or like Simon Peter an old name we need to learn how to fill.

Morning Service for the Third Sunday of Easter

HYMN Christ is the world’s light  H & S 19  Christe Sanctorum

1. Christ is the world’s light, he and none other;

born in our darkness, he became our brother.

if we have seen him, we have seen the Father:

Glory to God on high.

2. Christ is the world’s peace, he and none other;

no man can serve him and despise his brother

who else unites us, one in God the Father?

Glory to God on high.

3. Christ is the world’s life, he and none other:

sold once for silver, murdered here, our Brother –

he who redeems us, reigns with God the Father:

Glory to God on high.

4. Give God the glory, God and none other:

give God the glory, Spirit, Son and Father:

give God the glory, God in Man my brother:

Glory to God on high.

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


Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, 

firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us, forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May the God of love and power
forgive you and free you from your sins,
heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,
and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.


Almighty Father,

who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples

   with the sight of the risen Lord:

give us such knowledge of his presence with us,

that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life

and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, Amen.

FIRST READING – Acts 9.1-6
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

HYMN Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord)  H & S 2

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord,

Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his name.

1.Jesus is Lord of all the earth. 

He is the King of creation.

2. Spread the good news o’er all the earth.Jesus has died and is risen.

3. We have been crucified with Christ.

Now we shall live forever.

4. God has proclaimed the just reward:

‘Life for us all, alleluia!’

5. Come, let us praise the living God,

Joyfully sing to our Saviour.

GOSPEL – John 21.1-19
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”


One night Rabbi Yehuda, the greatest rabbi of his age in Europe, had a dream: he dreamt that he had died and was brought before the throne of God. The angel who stands before the throne said to him ‘Who are you?’ 

‘I am Rabbi Yehuda of Prague,’ he replied; ‘tell me, sir, if my name is written in the book of the names of those who will have a share in the kingdom.’ 

‘Wait here,’ said the angel, ‘I am going to read the names of all those who have died today that are written in the book.’ 

He read the names out, thousands of them, strange names to the ears of Rabbi Yehuda; and as the angel read, the rabbi saw the spirits of those whose names had been called fly into the dazzling light that surrounded the throne. 

At last he finished reading, and Rabbi Yehuda’s name had not been called; he wept bitterly and cried out against the angel. The angel said, ‘I have called your name.’ 

‘I did not hear it,’ said the Rabbi. The angel explained, 

‘In the book are written the names of all the men and women who have ever lived on the earth, for every soul is an inheritor of the kingdom. But many come here who have never heard their true names on the lips of man or angel. They have lived believing that they know their names; and so when they are called to their share in the kingdom, they do not hear their names as their own. They do not recognise that it is for them that the gates of the kingdom are opened. So they must wait here until they hear their names and know them. Perhaps in their lifetime someone has once called them by their right name: here they shall stay until they have remembered. Perhaps no one has ever called them by their right name: they shall stay here till they are silent enough to hear the King of the Universe himself calling them.’  

At this, Rabbi Yehuda awoke and, rising from his bed with tears, he covered his head and lay prostrate on the ground, and prayed, ‘Master of the Universe! Grant me once before I die to hear my own true name on the lips of my brothers.’

Peter wasn’t called Peter before he met Jesus, he was called Simon; Jesus invented the name, probably in the Aramaic form, Kephas, translated as Petros in the Greek of the wider world. Before Jesus coined the name, it was not a proper name at all, hence, Peter is often called in the New Testament Simon Peter.

He was the first of the disciples to recognise Jesus as the anointed one of God, the Messiah – he was the first to see that in him the kingdom of God was breaking into the world. Jesus tells him that he did not achieve this perception by his own cleverness, only by pure revelation from God.  

This is why, Matthew tells us, Jesus appoints him to lead the new people of the kingdom. But it is not because Peter is immovable that he is called the ‘rock’, events prove that he is not rock-like in his faith. Neither is it because he is like rock in his resolve, he is soon shown to be capable of vacillation and indecision. He is the ‘rock’ only because it is upon him, warts and all, and his revelation, that the ‘ekklesia’, the assembled people of God, are to be built.  Built, not by Peter, of course, but by Jesus himself.

Peter is the name Jesus gave him but it isn’t the name he uses now, three times Peter denied him in the Temple precincts, three times Jesus now asks him if he loves him. Three times he assures him he does. And Jesus instructs him to care for his sheep. Each time Jesus calls him Simon, son of John. His new role of Shepherd to the flock is not a role assumed through the persona of ‘the rock’, it is to be him – what he is. He couldn’t be the rock he was named – he could only be Simon, son of John. But it was enough, in the end, to be Simon, son of John, because as Simon he could shepherd the flock, knowing what it was like to be weak, knowing what is was like to be afraid, knowing what it was like to fail. Maybe it was failing to be a Peter, that enabled him to be truly Simon, son of John.

Our first reading coincidentally talks of another rehabilitation, and another man with two names. Paul first comes on the scene as Saul, the hard line fanatic that can’t bear heretics, who loves his religion more than his God, who understands more about the demands of his religion than he does about the demands of his God. Paul had to learn, and he certainly took the hint. His name change was simply from Hebrew into Greek – signifying a change from a fanatical commitment to what God had done to being a part of what God was now doing – his place was with the new world of Greek speaking foreigners, people he wouldn’t have shared a sandwich with, but to whom he would now bring the Good News of resurrection faith. 

I wonder if there is, like Paul, a new name we need to be considering, or like Simon Peter an old name we need to learn how to fill.

Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the scriptures;
he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers,
and to all the apostles: this we have received,
and this we believe.  Amen.
1 Corinthians 15.3-7

HYMN The Lord’s my Shepherd (Townend)  H & S 91

1. The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;

he makes me lie in pastures green,

he leads me by the still, still waters,

his goodness restores my soul.

And I will trust in you alone,

and I will trust in you alone,

for your endless mercy follows me,

your goodness will lead me home.

2. He guides my ways in righteousness,

and he anoints my head with oil;

and my cup – it overflows with joy,

I feast on his pure delights.


3. And though I walk the darkest path –

I will not fear the evil one,

for you are with me, and your rod and staff

are the comfort I need to know.



We thank you for this beautiful time of year.  The sunshine we have enjoyed recently and the new growth all around us lifts our spirits and reminds us of the beauty of your creation.

In contrast we pray for all the devastation and corruption that we are seeing in the world news.  The consequences of human weakness and misuse of power.  The people of Ukraine are very much on our hearts.  Please give all government leaders wisdom in their negotiations and responses to the aggression from Russia. We ask for a rapid resolution to the conflict.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer. 

In this country we have been shocked by the miscarriage of justice that has affected many sub postmasters.  We ask that fair compensation can be agreed upon quickly. Please help them to be able to forgive and move forward with their lives.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer. 

We pray for those who are struggling with grief at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with John Venn and his family who are grieving the loss of Hilary.  Please give them comfort and strength as they adjust to life without her. Thank you that she was a member of this benefice and for her kindness and thoughtful ways that many of us will have experienced.

We bring before you all those people that we know personally who are struggling with ill health or the loss of a relative or friend. Thank you that you promise to be beside us at all times and in all circumstances.  We are grateful for the hope we have through Jesus of a future with you without the presence of evil and suffering.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer. 

As we go forward this week let us keep in mind that the power of prayer is more than we can ever imagine because you, Father God, are so much beyond what we can conceive.  Forgive us when we are complacent and help us to put time aside to use this amazing gift for your purpose and glory.

Merciful Father, 

accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:
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.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

May Christ, who out of defeat
brings new hope and a new future,
fill you with his new life.
And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen

HYMN Christ triumphant ever reigning  H & S 20

1. Christ triumphant, ever reigning,

Saviour, Master, King,

Lord of heaven, our lives sustaining,

hear us as we sing:

Yours the glory and the crown,

the high renown,

the eternal name!

2. Word incarnate, truth revealing,

Son of Man on Earth!

Power and majesty concealing

by your humble birth:


3. Suffering servant, scorned, ill-treated,

victim crucified!

Death is through the cross defeated,

sinners justified:


4. Priestly King, enthroned for ever

high in heaven above!

Sin and death and hell shall never

stifle hymns of love:


5. So, our hearts and voices raising

through the ages long,

ceaselessly upon you gazing,

this shall be our song:


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