Home Service 25th April 2021

Call to Worship

We gather at the voice of our Good Shepherd.
Lord, we are prone to losing our way, but we know that you will never leave us.
We will follow you wherever you take us.
Be with us now as we worship you. Amen.

Confession
Lord, we would follow you wherever you might lead.
Forgive us when we stumble and when we stray.
Forgive us when, distracted we lose our way.
Be the one to whom we turn, whose hand we hold,
the Shepherd who leads us safely to the fold.
Lord, we would follow you wherever you might lead.
Lord, we would follow you. Amen

John 10:11-18
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired
hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he
abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The
man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father
knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other
sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice,
and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay
down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my
own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I
received from my Father.”

It’s a family thing!
Our children both have three main names: Henry, Henks and Henkus. Hannah,
Hannelflannel, Hannyhannyhonhon. They are going to be sooo happy that I’ve told you all
that! Don’t ask me why they have three names – they just do. And they respond to them all.
I have two: Jim or James (depending on if I’m in trouble or not).
Have you noticed that scripture rarely calls Jesus ‘God’? Instead, the writers repeatedly
ascribe to him activities or titles or descriptions that properly belong to God.
In John 10 Jesus identifies himself with the Good Shepherd who, in the Old Testament,
stands for God. Ezekiel 34 makes a contrast with the bad shepherds, who neglect and
exploit their flocks; Psalm 23 gives details of the painstaking care provided by a caring
farmer.
In John, Jesus contrasts the shepherd with the hired hand: the one abandons his charges at
the first sign of danger; the other faces death for the sake of his sheep. The extension of the
Old Testament metaphor is striking Jesus identifies himself with God precisely in his selfgiving death.
Jesus’ claim is that his relationship with the Father, is the source of his love and knowledge
of his sheep. It is the unity between Father and Son that makes unity among the sheep an
imperative. That is why the ‘other sheep’ (maybe scattered groups of Jewish Christians in
John’s own day, facing persecution by the synagogues; or non-Jews who will eventually
become Christians) will join his flack.
In either case, we are reminded that we are all linked as members of one family through the
one shepherd. There is but one God – that’s Jesus.

Give thanks
Loving Shepherd,
You lead and guide,
You walk alongside,
You prepare, you feed, you call,
all of your sheep,
even those of us who are lost,
those of us who stray constantly,
those of us who stay close to your comforting staff.
We are grateful for the lush green pastures of our lives,
and we pause now to offer our thanksgivings
for the goodnesses in our lives…
There are so many who walk in the shadows
of fear and suffering and despair,
and we pause now, to offer our prayers
for the broken and bleeding places in this world…
We also offer our prayers for the sheep of our own flocks,
in our families and friends,
in this our church and our community…
O Loving Shepherd,
We have all we need,
as we live in You.
Amen. (Posted on RevGalBlogPals).

Blessing

We all are subject to the love of the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep by name.
Live this week bathed in the compassion of the Good Shepherd who leads his sheep to safe
pasture.
Be blessed and be a blessing to others. Amen.

Suggested Music

Because the Lord is my shepherd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilC1Qb8voQg
Jesus the Lord https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13CLSLTKJ50
The Lord’s my Shepherd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eIQQayhpak
The Lord’s my Shepherd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3hNZT6ddJg
The king of love my shepherd is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcCwUF0s_-Y

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