This letter was written at a time that Christians in Rome were suffering great persecution. The Emperor Nero had accused them of starting a fire in Rome. This letter, written from a Roman context of suffering, seeks to give courage to all who suffer everywhere, and remind them that “Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.”
Today is a day for us to remember those who suffer. Some scenes that immediately come to mind are the victims of the bomb explosion in Boston yesterday; those who are suffering because of thesuicide commando that went on the rampage in the main court complex in Mogadishu on Sunday, and the 17 civilians killed in Afghanistan by Unites States airstrike on 6 April.
Lord in your mercy – Hear our Prayer.
Fourth Sunday of EasterThe Good Shepherd
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.160