Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford Loughton, St John the Baptist

Readings and Reflections for May 3rd

3 May 2020, 6 a.m.
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Reflection

I am not sure you know much about shepherding; I am afraid I do not know much- I am a townie at heart!! I do occasionally watch Countryfile thou!! When you talk or hear a shepherd be interviewed it bring the metaphors and narrative about Jesus describing himself as the Good Shepherd alive.

When you hear such interviews, you can easily see how well the shepherd knows his sheep, because caring and loving his sheep is crucial to his livelihood. A Shepherd needs to really know his sheep, smell them, observe them constantly looking for any change. Only by working in this way, can a shepherd see if anything is going wrong and ensure that it is put right. He then can provide the care that his sheep need so that there can flourish and be the sheep he needs them to be.

When you look more into the role of the shepherd, you understand more clearly that why Jesus is described as the good shepherd. The metaphor underpins a reality that shows and reflects the love of God for us all. Just like any shepherd, Jesus knows us completely, he lives with his flock. He knows when things are wrong, can see when things are going well, just by being with us he can see what we need, so we can flourish like we are called to do.

So, as we continue to live through this crisis, let us remember that the Good shepherd is with us, loving, leading us. He is with us, sharing the ups and downs and longs for us to have life, and flourish, becoming the people he has called us to be.

Chris

Collect

Almighty God,

whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:

raise us, who trust in him,

from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,

that we may seek those things which are above,

where he reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen

First reading

Acts 2. 42 -end

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Psalm 23

26 April 2020 Third Sunday of Easter

R I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

3 May 2020 Fourth Sunday of Easter

The Lord is my shepherd;

therefore can I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures

and leads me beside still waters. R

He shall refresh my soul

and guide me in the paths of righteousness for

his name’s sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the

shadow of death, I will fear no evil;

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me. R

You spread a table before me

in the presence of those who trouble me;

you have anointed my head with oil

and my cup shall be full.

Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow

me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for

ever. R

R I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Reading

1 Peter 1. 2. 19-end

For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.

“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Gospel

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. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Post Communion Prayer

Merciful Father,

you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,

and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:

keep us always under his protection,

and give us grace to follow in his steps;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen