‘Rejoice’, courtesy of Emu Music. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
Hear the Good Shepherd calling soft and low, ‘Come follow me to the good place of food and rest’.
Come, let us pray,
Gracious God, we give you thanks and praise for the day you have made, for the life you have given, and for the love you have poured out. We thank you for Jesus our Shepherd, who calls us by name and leads us safely to the waters that refresh and bring eternal life. Help us to give you the praise and honour you deserve, and to worship you in our hearts throughout the day. Amen.
From the Bible
The Bible reading for today is from the Gospel of John. There is also a video of a dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading underneath.
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.”
Dramatic readings from Lumo
Here is the dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading by the Lumo group (it also includes the parable of ‘The Good Shepherd’. If you have trouble connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
The message is brought to you by Bill Loader, who speaks about ‘abundant life’ and what it means to follow Jesus.
I wonder what you have heard and thought from the Word today? I wonder what you heard in the Word for the church community?
Before a time of prayer you may like to spend some time in silence sitting still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Simply be still and open to God. You may prefer to do this while listening to the ‘Optional reflective music’ below.
Optional reflective music
The reflective music is, ‘The King of love my Shepherd is’, witch uses and ancient Irish melody. If you have problems connecting, also try this link at YouTube:
Prayers for Others
Let us pray,
O God, may your goodness and mercy follow us all the days of life. You raised Jesus from the dead, and made him the gate through which we, the sheep of your flock,
may come and go in safety and in peace. We pray to you, O God, to protect the sheep of your flock from all forces within and without that would destroy. May we hear the voice of our shepherd and follow him.
We pray, O God, for the world, that rich nations may share justly the abundance of the earth that belongs to all people and that there may be peace between nations – we pray especially for peace in the Sudan and Ukraine. Bind those leaders, O Lord, who would seek power and domination over others.
We pray for those who are oppressed, afflicted or in need, for those who suffer for their witness against injustice and greed, and for those who are homeless or without food and water. Finally, O Lord, we pray for our families and for our neighbours, and for all those whom you have placed upon our hearts this day. Hear our prayers, O Lord. Amen.
The Good Shepherd calls us in and sends us out to life in all its abundance. May we be blessed by God and offer life to all we encounter. Amen.
‘The Good Shepherd’, sung by Eileen Walker. If you have trouble connecting go directly to YouTube at:
Our speaker for today, Bill Loader, is a retired UCA minister and Professor of New Testament. He taught for 40 years in the Perth Theological Hall and at Murdoch University, and has written many books on the gospels, sexual issues, and early Judaism. He also has a website with a wide range of resources from children’s stories to weekly commentaries on the Lectionary.
Bill’s site is at billloader.com
This sermon was found at ProjectReconnect on Vimeo: