Introduction to the Order of Service.
A reading from the prophet Isaiah.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of one who brings good news, who heralds peace, brings happiness, proclaims salvation, and tells Zion “Your God is king!” Listen! Your watchmen raise their voices, they shout for joy together, for they see the Lord face to face, ad he returns to Zion. Break into shouts of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord is consoling his people, redeeming Jerusalem. The Lord bares his holy arm in the sight of all nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans.
With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us
Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. As scripture promised: For your sake we are massacred daily, and reckoned as sheep for the slaughter. There are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.
For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know 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 replied, “Yes, Lord, You know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Look after my sheep.” Then he said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
I tell you most solemnly,
when you were young you put on your own belt
and walked where you liked;
but when you grow old
you will stretch out your hands,
and somebody else will put a belt around you
and take you where you would rather not go.”
In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, “Follow me.”
Prayer of Blessing.