Sunday 16th May 2021
7th Sunday of Easter

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19

A previous Roots resource for this Sunday begins with the idea of using protective outfits and equipment that are associated with certain roles and professions to explore the various ways in which we keep ourselves safe at work. This leads to a contemporary engagement with the Gospel reading in which Jesus prays for protection for his followers. At the heart of this is a call and a prayer that “they might be one”. We might invite a congregation to think about workplace situations where it is important to work together as a team. Many who work in the area of health and safety argue that one of the most important contributors to safety and wellbeing in a hazardous environment is the relationships that exist between employees. When people are looking out for each other, they keep each other safe. How might we apply this reality from the world of work, to the life of God’s Church?

As we reflect on Christ’s prayer for protection, there is an obvious opportunity to pray and thank God for those who work to keep society safe and protected.

A way of exploring Psalm 1 might be to think about the various workplace contexts in which people have to sort the good from the bad. There might be people within the congregation who in different ways work as checkers or sorters on production lines, Quality Assurance officers or even perhaps ticket collectors, making sure that only those who should, are able to gain access. There is a similar theme throughout the Psalm, the rooted tree bearing fruit is compared to chaff, the waste product once the grain is taken from wheat, that is blown away in the wind. The Psalmist goes on to say that “the sinner has not place in the council of the righteousness”. Like the person without a ticket, the product that fails a quality check, they fall short of God’s fair and righteousness judgement. There is obvious further application of the mercy and forgiveness of Christ etc. etc.