Notes on the Bible readings
• The Acts reading is set at the house
of Cornelius, a Gentile centurion, who
summons Peter after a vision. Peter has
preached the full gospel of Jesus’ life, death
and resurrection to those gathered and
the Holy Spirit is poured out on them. The
entire household praises God and is quickly
baptized – the first Gentile converts in the
Roman world. They accept the truth of the
resurrection and God’s invitation to be loved,
and take on the responsibilities of faith and
• The first letter of John continues the
theme of love and responsibility. Those who
love God love the children of God, and follow
his commands. Yet we are assured that this
responsibility is not burdensome, for the path
of faith leads to victory.
• John 15 is a more polished version of the
letter and probably by the same author. In
poetic prose it records Jesus’ teaching for
the communities that would live on after
his death. In his final words to his disciples,
Jesus summarises God’s commands as simply
to ‘love one another as I have loved you’. He
gives a supreme example of this: laying down
one’s life for one’s friends, which he was to
• As God loves Jesus and Jesus loves us, so
we are invited to love others. The challenge
for us is to find out what that means in
practice. How can we live for others more
A prayer for resolve
Your love for us, God, is enduring,
never ending, for ever, eternal.
Our love for you so often falters
and stumbles and stammers along.
We confess that we don’t always take our responsibilities for each
we don’t always show the friendship we ought;
we don’t always think what you would have us do.
Forgive us, we pray,
and strengthen our resolve to be more loving. Amen.
A prayer of adoration and praise
From the depth of our beings, we adore you, Loving God.
We rejoice in your message, marvel at your words,
are astounded at your deeds, are inspired by your Spirit,
and feel overwhelmed by who you are.
We rejoice that you speak to us in ways we understand,
and in times when we need to know you are with us.
We rejoice that you know us all individually
and speak our ‘language’.
In this moment, we cannot help but adore and praise your holy name
and rejoice in your love for us. Amen.
A personal prayer
Just as I am, with the love I have,
with the love of you I know,
so guide me, God, in all I do and in all I am,
to bear fruit for you. Amen.