Faith Daily | 26 April 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - EASTER FOUR APBA p510
whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people:
help us when hear his voice
to know him who calls us each by name,
and to follow where he leads;
who with you and the Holy Spirit
lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 10: 1-10
“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Rev'd Jan
My father worked his career with pastoral agencies, and I was born in country Victoria surrounded by sheep. My father would take us, my sister and I as very young children, to the sales with much dust and noise – and also excitement. And it was there forged in our minds the Australian understanding of sheep – silly things, no initiative, scared easily into flock flight.
When we come to the image of God and Jesus as shepherd, caring for their sheep beyond all circumstance, I always do a double check on how this sits. Learning about Jesus as the shepherd as a child I know I reacted adversely to be thought of as a sheep! Through all the scriptures though, in our continual seeking of the nature of God and relationship with us, is revealed in this most well known image of shepherd, the extraordinary love, care, nurture and sacrificial way of God.
And I have to face the reality of our humanity as sheep-like. We are lost and easily led without the right leadership. We are tempted to construct our own pathways, and follow other voices, when we delude ourselves into the self-sufficiency that doesn’t need Jesus the Christ. We can join the mob focussed on the world’s pathway of material gain and pleasure, and not notice the lost sheep, the need of others around us, and indeed the tragic ways humans can become inhumane.
We all love the stain-glass window in the Brookfield Church of the Good Shepherd, the famous painting of Jesus holding a lamb. There is a similar window in a parish I have been part of; I remember taking the Pram Service in the church one day and asking what the children noticed about the window. They recognised Jesus – and when I asked what is he doing, a little one put her head on the side and said thoughtfully …” he is holding and caring for a baby kangaroo”. Fortunately I didn’t laugh; because she was so right about the true nature of Jesus – caring, holding, loving, protecting, advocating … when we know Jesus as shepherd, he is indeed holding us, and all creation.
FINAL PRAYER: Collect Prayer for Year B APBA p511
Jesus, good shepherd of the sheep,
by whom the lost are sought
and guided into the fold:
feed us and we shall be satisfied,
heal us and we shall be whole,
and lead us that we may be with you,
where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.