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This is the Gospel of Christ. Praise be to thee O Christ, for this thy Holy Gospel.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be now and always acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer.  AMEN.
I'm glad that this church is named after Saint John the Evangelist.  An evangelist is someone who brings good news – the news that God so loved the world that he gave his only son to save it.  This message of love is obvious throughout the gospel that bears his name.    John 3:16
Yet today's passage speaks of hatred and persecution, directed from the world that Jesus came to save, to Jesus and his disciples, who were spreading the message of God's love to the world  
As we read through John’s gospel, of course, that term the world is a favourite one, but it seems to have two different meanings.  It is the world that God loved and wants to redeem, but it is also the world that is so opposed to Him that it hates him.  
Hatred is a strong emotion.  It is not a characteristic of God's kingdom, certainly not when applied to people.  It is something entirely different from the message of Jesus, entirely opposite.  
John's gospel really is good news, aiming to draw the reader in to a greater love of Jesus, but it is hard to see this passage in that light.  It predicts hatred towards the believer, just as there was hatred towards Jesus.  
That hatred in the case of Jesus resulted in persecution and torture and death.  In the case of disciples of Jesus, John warns us that we can expect the same treatment.  Hardly sounds like good news!  
And yet of course we know it is a reality for many Christians throughout the world.  As Jesus says here, no servant is greater than his master.  If Jesus suffered for his message then we should not be surprised, if we come with the same message, that we receive the same treatment.  We are surely not worthy of greater honour than Jesus.        
Perhaps we should wish for a different message to proclaim, in order that we might get a better reception, and be treated better.  Of course we know that that will not do.  No other message conveys the love of God for the world, love that is strong enough to defeat hatred.  
In the end it is clear that the two uses of the phrase the world are not different at all.  It refers both to all that is opposed to God AND to all that he loved enough to die for.  That’s why he had to die.  
Part of the way we know we have crossed from one to the other from the world to being disciples is because we can love the unlovely, and pity those who persecute us.  
Jesus fulfilled the scripture that said “they hated me without reason”.  We, too, are hated without reason when we bring the light of the Gospel, because it is a power for good in a world that is not used to it.  As John writes earlier in his gospel: “Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil”.      John 3:19
Being hated may not sound like good news for us, but it is good on two counts.  Firstly, it shows which side of the divide we are.  We do not belong to the world …  
Secondly, it shows that our light is shining in the right place, coming into contact with the world that God loves.  
Because when we follow Jesus, as well as laying ourselves open to persecution and hatred, as he did, we also receive the power of the Holy Spirit – as he did.  The Spirit of Jesus within us testifies to the good we can do, and the love that we can show, the light we can shine.  
So we rejoice, not that we are persecuted, but that the world sees us as worthy of persecution, because they see something of Jesus in us.  They won’t understand why, but we do.  
And as we testify to Jesus now, so he will testify on our behalf.  That IS good news!  
Lord Jesus, that you for the persecution and hatred you suffered on behalf of the world you love.  Help us to show that same love in the world, and bring all people into your kingdom.  AMEN
When Jesus speaks about the world and about his disciples he is speaking about two opposites.  It is imagery that John often uses.  
We know that John is fond of using the word "world" to sum up all that is opposed to God's kingdom.  Here, he reports Jesus  
Yet love and hate are not simply opposites, because  


 John 15:17–27 (NIV - Anglicised)17 This is my command: Love each other. The World Hates the Disciples18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.  If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin.  Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them what no-one else did, they would not be guilty of sin.  But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfil what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’26 “When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.   
 Ephesians 2:19–22 (NIV - Anglicised)19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.   
 Isaiah 28:14–16 (NIV - Anglicised)      14 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers      who rule this people in Jerusalem.      15 You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death,      with the grave we have made an agreement.      When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,      it cannot touch us,      for we have made a lie our refuge      and falsehood our hiding-place.”16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says:      “See, I lay a stone in Zion,      a tested stone,      a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;      the one who trusts will never be dismayed.   

Simon and Jude, Apostles

Principal Service

Isaiah 28.14-16

Psalm 119.89-96

Ephesians 2.19-22

John 15.17-27

Thoughts and ramblings


Collects (C:\Users\Clive\Documents\Christian\Liturgy\Calendar\collects\@CW_collects.doc)



The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make you perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight;
and the blessing …


Invitation to Confession

Christ died to sin once for all, and now he lives to God.

Let us renew our resolve to have done with all that is evil

and confess our sins in penitence and faith.



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

The Peace

Peace - Incarnation

Christ came and proclaimed the gospel, 
peace to those who are far off, and peace to those who are near.

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples             and said,


 ‘Peace be with you.’
Then were they glad when they saw the Lord. Alleluia.

John 20.19,20


Jesus says.
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
If you love me, rejoice because I am going to the Father’. Alleluia.

[CW p318]

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

These words may be added:  Let us offer one another a sign of peace.
Prayers of Intercession

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,

you have exalted your Son Christ Jesus to your right hand,

and made him the head over all things for his body the Church:

hear us as we pray for the Church throughout the world ...

Father make us and all your people receptive to the gifts you pour upon us,

that we may use them to your glory,

and the building up of the body of Christ.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


Lord God Almighty, the Ancient of Days,

you have given your Son all authority in heaven and on earth:

hear us as we pray for the world he came to redeem ...

Grant that we may know even in this time the things that make for peace,

and may strive for the reconciliation of all people

in your kingdom of justice and love.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


Father of all, whose Son has promised to be with us always,

to the end of the age:

hear us as we pray for those among whom we live and work ...

Grant that we may be so aware of Jesus’ presence with us,

that we may bring a sense of his presence to those we meet.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


O God our Redeemer, whose Son ever lives to make intercession for us:

hear us as we pray for those in any kind of need ...

May Jesus Christ, who has borne our infirmities strengthen and heal those for whom we have prayed,

that they may find His grace, to help them in their time of need,

and rejoice in the salvation He brings.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


Heavenly Father, whose Son has borne our humanity into the heavenly realms,

and gone before us to prepare a place for us:

hear us as we remember before you those whose earthly sojourn is over,

and whose life is now hidden in him with you ...

Make us joyful and expectant, that at the coming again of our Saviour with all his own

we too may go forth to meet him, and share in his eternal joy.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.



Christ is our peace.
He has reconciled us to God
in one body by the cross.
We meet in his name and share his peace.

cf Ephesians 2.15,16

Church and mission


We are the body of Christ.
In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.
Let us then pursue all that makes for peace
and builds up our common life.

cf 1 Corinthians 12.13; Romans 14.19

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