Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 21 April (Easter 2: Friday)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 21 April 2023, including a reflection on John 6.1-15 (Easter 2: Friday)


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

In your resurrection, O Christ,
let heaven and earth rejoice. Alleluia.

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As once you ransomed your people from Egypt
and led them to freedom in the promised land,
so now you have delivered us from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your risen Son.
May we, the first fruits of your new creation,
rejoice in this new day you have made,
and praise you for your mighty acts.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

John 6.1-15

Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’ He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?’ Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’ 

When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself. 


When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Out of love for humanity Jesus worked miraculous, nature-defying signs. In today’s reading we hear of one of the best-known of those miraculous signs … the feeding of the five thousand from just five barley loaves and two fish. Not only was the crowd fed from such meagre provisions, but there were also twelve baskets full of leftovers, which is usually interpreted as being symbolic of enough for the twelve tribes of Israel, that is, the whole of the world.

When we are confronted with that which we do not understand we react in different ways. We can be sceptical and disbelieving; we can feel hoodwinked and deceived; we can give way to feelings of anger; or we can idolize the one who has left us wide-eyed and amazed. Today, having shown great compassion for the hungry crowd, Jesus is idolized. It is as though his teaching, his healing and all those miraculous signs have culminated in the crowd’s reaction to this moment on the mountain beside the Sea of Galilee: they wanted to take him by force to make him king.

We know of the kingship of Jesus Christ. We also know that he is not a king in the worldly sense of any monarch we have ever known. Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus existed before the world was brought into being. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is not the sort of king who can be made to sit upon an earthly throne and wear an earthly crown. Jesus is so much more than that.

Most of us would struggle to resist the acclamation of the crowd. We would feel flattered, and we would allow ourselves to assume an authority and a power that was not rightly ours. But, Jesus was stronger than that. Rather than convincing himself of all the ‘good things’ he could do if he succumbed to the crowd, he remained true to God’s calling and he withdrew … up the mountain … by himself … to his place of prayer.

Let us pray that we might remain humble and true in our lives of faith, in order that God might work his miraculous signs through us.


To Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
and who now lives in the glory of the Father,
let us lift our voices in praise, saying:
risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

Lord Jesus, you are the Amen, the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You are Alpha and Omega,
the one who is, and was, and who is to come:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You search into the thoughts and affections of all people:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You reprove and chasten those whom you love:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You open the eyes of the blind
and set the prisoners free:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

In your paschal victory,
you have proclaimed the coming of the kingdom:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make us perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.