Book of Common Prayer Sunday Eucharistic Lectionary Propers
Appointed for the Week of
The Fourth Sunday After Easter
O ALMIGHTY God,
who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men:
Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest,
and desire that which thou dost promise;
that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
THE EPISTLE. St James 1. 17.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Of his own will he brought us to birth by the word of truth,
that we should be a kind of first-fruits of all his creation.
Ye know this, my beloved brethren;
and so let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
And therefore lay aside all filthiness and residue of wickedness,
and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
THE GOSPEL. St John 16. 5.
Jesus said to his disciples,
Now I go my way to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
But, because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away:
for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;
but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he Is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement:
of sin, because they believe not on me;
of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
of judgement, because the prince of this world is judged.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
for he shall not speak of himself;
but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:
and he will show you things to come.
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.
All things that the Father hath are mine:
therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.
Book of Common Prayer Sunday Eucharistic Lectionary Message
A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday After Easter
By: Fr. Dr. Robert Crouse
“It is expedient for you that I go away...”
(St. John 16:7b; KJV)
The Gospel lessons for the last three Sundays after Easter
are all taken from the 16th Chapter of St John’s Gospel -
from Jesus’ discourse with his disciples at the Last Supper.
That discourse is one of the most beautiful and most beloved passages of Scripture,
and full of the deepest and most important theological significance.
The three portions of it chosen for the Gospel lessons on these three Sundays form a series.
In last Sunday’s lesson,
Jesus warns his followers about his departure from them,
and all the suffering that it will involve.
But there will be a purpose in that suffering, he tells them;
it will be like the pains of travail, it will be the birth-pangs of a new form of life.
“Ye now therefore have sorrow”, he says, “but your sorrow shall be turned into joy”.
In today’s Gospel lesson, Jesus explains more precisely what that new form of life will be:
“If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;
but if I depart, I will send him unto you”.
That is to say, the removal of the visible, bodily presence of God in Christ,
his departure through death, resurrection and ascension,
though it would be for his disciples a great sorrow,
would be the beginning of a new inner and spiritual relation to God.