FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER 21ST APRIL 2024

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  John 10:11 | Scripture pictures, Scripture, Fun facts

OPENING SENTENCE
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

HYMN

GREETING

Alleluia Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

He has given us new life and hope

by raising Jesus from the dead.

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Description: Description: Description: Confession under section 67 NDPS Act to be admitted or not, yet to ...

CONFESSION

God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA
sung by Sue Turner

COLLECT

O God,

the light of whose truth stretches out

to those who go astray

give your grace to all who profess themselves Christians,

that they may cast what is harmful

and pursue all that gives life;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

FIRST READING
PSALM 23
read by Gill Swales

The Divine Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;

your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is My Shepherd - Free Bible Verse Art Downloads - Bible  Verses To Go

SECOND READING
1 JOHN 3:16-24
read by David Kerr

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

1 John 3:16 - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ ...

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

HYMN

GOSPEL READING
JOHN 10:11-18
read by Rev Janice H. Aiton

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John chapter 10 beginning at verse 11

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.

John 10:11-18 (NLT) -- The Good Shepherd and His Sheep⠀ ⠀ “I am the good  shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life f… | The good shepherd, I  am awesome, Sheep

And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So, there will be one flock, one shepherd. 

For this reason, the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

SERMON

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is My Shepherd - Free Bible Verse Art Downloads - Bible  Verses To Go

A week ago, I spent a few days in Grasmere, in the Lake District. The weather was awful, it poured, and I mean poured every single day. I felt sorry for all those drenched through walkers, and I also felt sorry for the new- born lambs. I found myself concerned for those wee lambs and their farmers. The heavy rainfall was having a devastating impact on lambing. I had learned some time ago that if new- born lambs do not have dry ground to lie on, hypothermia often affects them, and it can be fatal. My gardener helps with lambing every year and after the lambing season she is so exhausted that she says that she is going to give it up, because of the gruelling work and long unsocial hours of labour. Yet each year she goes back for there is something enthralling and exciting about bring new lambs into the world. The work of a shepherd may well be modernised now, but it is still a demanding and challenging vocation.

Sheep Giving Birth: Tips for Successful Lambing - Countryside

Lambs, sheep, and shepherds were very much part of Jesus’ culture and heritage. Abraham, the Father of the nations was “the keeper of the flocks.” Moses was tending the flocks of his father-in- law Jethro, when God called him into a special service. David was a shepherd boy called into the fields to be the new king of Israel. I often wonder how he felt about that day and how it shaped and determined the rest of his life.

The imagery of the shepherd was also imprinted upon the literature of the day. Psalm 23 is frequently referred to as the shepherd psalm. When Isaiah spoke of the coming Messiah, he said that “He will feed his flock like a shepherd.” Without a doubt the tradition of shepherd was very much part of the heritage of Christ.

Luke 15 | Parables of Jesus: The Parable of the Lost Sheep | The Bible -  YouTube

This picture comes more into focus in the New Testament when Jesus tells the parable of the story about a 100 sheep, but one of them went astray. In our thinking a 100% investment would be more than desirable, but not this shepherd. He left the 99 to go in search of the one sheep. Later when Jesus was speaking to a great crowd of people, he had compassion on them because they were “like sheep without a shepherd.”

Throughout the Judeo- Christian faith, the image of the shepherd has been stamped into our thinking. In our gospel reading today Jesus taps again into this imagery when he refers to himself as the “Good Shepherd”. In Psalm 23 we see David refer to God as a shepherd- as a good shepherd.

Today we are going to take a look at the 23rd Psalm. This is a favourite Psalm of many, many people. Countless numbers of people throughout many generations have found hope in it in times of great fear and panic, even President George W. Bush quoted from this passage when he addressed the nation from the oval office on the evening of the 911 attacks. The 23rd Psalm deals with the realities of life. When you face difficult decisions, this Psalm is for you. When you are losing heart, this Psalm is for you. When you face enemies, this Psalm is for you. When you have seen the face of evil, this Psalm is for you. And since you will one day walk through the valley of death, this Psalm is for you. You need a Shepherd- you need a good shepherd!

In this Psalm David speaks quite personally of God as his Shepherd. David begins his Psalm saying ‘The Lord is my shepherd’. This statement actually shook the readers of biblical times because the temptation in ancient Israel was to speak only about “our” God forgetting that the God of Israel is also the God of individuals. Indeed Psalm 23 is very personal. There are no references to “we” or “us” or “they,” but only “my” and “me” and “I” and “You.” This is David’s testimony, his personal experience with God. He has heard God’s voice, followed His lead, felt His care. Beneath the beauty of his words there are solid convictions, formed in the crucible of crisis.

The Lord Is My Shepherd Psalm 23 KJV: A Prayer Of Comfort And Protection  Gift Photo Book - Walmart.com

The first conviction that comes across in the personal nature of David’s words–is the Lord knows me- “The Lord is my Shepherd.” David is saying that I believe in God; I believe that God cares, and I believe that God cares about me.” As you know, David was himself a shepherd. He was known as the “Shepherd King” of Israel. But he saw Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel, as his shepherd. He speaks in this Psalm as if he was one of the flock, one of the sheep. And it is as though he literally boasted aloud, “Look who my shepherd is — my owner – my manager! It is the Lord.” It is with pride that David says, “The Lord is my shepherd.”. This is David’s first personal conviction, which is ours too. God chose us, he bought us, he calls us by name, he makes us his own and he delights in taking care of us. As we gather together today take heart for God knows you and cares about you. You matter and are very special to him. He is your Shepherd.

The second great personal conviction in the Psalm is “the Lord provides for me.” Sheep obviously cannot voice out their needs. Yet the shepherd naturally knows the needs of each animal in the flock and so he will direct the sheep from place to place- “to green pastures.” The “green pastures” are the rich and verdant pastures, where the sheep settle and are satisfied. The fields even parts of the desert, would be green during the winter and spring. But in summer and autumn the sheep would be led to many places in search of food. God’s care is not seasonal but constant and abundant. Furthermore, shepherds don’t allow sheep to drink from running water because sheep while bending to drink water might also fall into it. Therefore, shepherds draw water from wells and give their sheep the water to drink. The shepherd takes great care of his sheep’s needs.

Likewise, the Bible says that we don’t have to pray lengthy prayers because God is aware of our needs even before we ask him. God knows our needs and he cares about them. We don’t need to worry about our needs because just like the Shepherd, who is aware of the needs of his flock, so God is also aware of our needs, as knows how, where and when to meet these needs. Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew advises us not to feel anxious or to worry about our needs and assures that God will provide. There’s one condition, however. God shall not sustain our greed, but He will meet and provide for our genuine needs.

God doesn't have time to worry about such little things, right?

The third conviction is the Lord restores me. In this fast -moving culture with all its worries, and difficulties, we long to be restored and refreshed. The Lord not only knows us personally, but he also knows our personal needs. God is aware of our body and our mind and of our need for renewal and restoration. The shepherd is aware of the needs of his flock.

There are many characteristics that set sheep apart from other animals. They are dumb and innocent creatures, incapable of defending themselves. To add to it unlike dogs or other household animals, sheep that fall on their back cannot get up unless someone rolls them over and helps them to stand on their feet. The fate of a sheep fallen on its back is determined by many factors. The most common are natural causes such as dehydration and starvation, not to mention ready prey for vultures, and wild dogs. Therefore, a well-informed shepherd frequently scans his flock for any fallen animals and rushes to their aid if he finds any. Needless to say, just like the sheep, we also are sometimes dumb and incapable of defending ourselves against Satan’s schemes, especially because of the fallen nature that dominates our behaviour. It causes us to fall into sin and later we wish that we never did what we did or said what he said. At such times it is important that we repent and allow the Lord to restore us.

Another way in which the shepherd cares for his sheep is to lead them to new pastures. He acts as a guide. A shepherd knows exactly where the best feeding grounds are and leads his sheep to those places. In this verse David tells the same about God. God directed him down the paths of uprightness during his kingship. In difficult times, some of his own making, David experienced God’s touch and help. David is writing here from personal experience. He testifies to God’s goodness. God is there for us, even like David if some of the problems are of our making.

Most of the problems we face in life happen because we ignore God’s guidance. We are reminded in this Psalm, that we can enjoy every aspect of our personal life, marriage, career, and ministry if we are sensitive to God’s leading. He knows what’s best for us and he will help and guide us to achieve our goals, as long as, they are pure and within the perimeter of his will. God guides us lovingly, sensitively, and compassionately. God wants, like the shepherd, the best for us. He promises to be there for us in our life’s journey. God never forsakes us, for he journeys with us. In the good times, he rejoices with is and in the dark times God strengthens and comforts us.

God comforts me

His rod and staff comfort us. The rod and staff have 4 major uses to the shepherd. Firstly, the rod and the staff refer to a single instrument: an instrument of authority and an instrument to fight off animals such as lions, leopards, bears, hyenas, and wolves that usually seek to prey upon the sheep.

Second, the crook part of the staff was used to gently seize the sheep that tend to run away by their legs or neck and add them back to the flock. Third, it was used to examine the sheep. The shepherd uses the rod to pull the sheep’s wool away from its skin to check for rashes, wounds, or defects. Fourth to count the sheep. In the terminology of the Old Testament, this was referred to as passing “under the rod”: Here the shepherd holds his rod over the sheep and counts each and every sheep that enter by the gate. What happens if he finds out that one of them is missing? He places others at the hands of a faithful servant and takes off searching for the lost one. So, David as shepherd cared and comforted his flock in difficulties so how much more does God care and comfort us in our times of difficulty?

22 Bible Verses about 'Exalt' - DailyVerses.net

Finally, God exalts us-there’s a bumper sticker that says ‘There’s only one God so stop applying for his position’. David was a skilled warrior; a king who won the hearts of his people. A mighty man called and anointed by God. Nevertheless, he didn’t seek to retaliate or engage his enemies in his own strength – he waited on God. This is our calling to wait on God humbly and God, will exalt us. Like David, our primary call is to know the Shepherd intimately.

The importance of knowing the Shepherd intimately was a message communicated to an audience one evening. There was an actor in town. The town hall was packed, the audience was wildly enthusiastic as the orator recited passages from great plays, poems, and literature. At the end of the performance, they shouted for more. The actor agreed to take a few requests.

Immediately, a hand shot up. The hand belonged to an older man with weather-beaten face and clothes that were clean but definitely patched and had seen better days. “Would you… could you…do the 23rd Psalm, please?” he asked.

Psalm 23 ART PRINT • Sweet Sequels

The actor thought for a minute, then said, “I’ll do it on one condition. After I have finished, you will come up and recite it, also.” Puzzled, the old man agreed. The orator began, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….” As he went, he infused the words will all the tricks of his art. One by one, the phrases known and loved by all rolled off his tongue. “He leadeth me beside the still waters, he restoreth my soul…Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” When all the words of the great beloved Psalm were delivered with great art, the audience gave the actor yet another enthusiastic ovation.

Then the man who had requested the Psalm came up. His face was not handsome, and his voice was thick and uncultured. Yet, as he began to speak, his face took on a glow of joy, and the love almost leaped from his mouth with the words. When, he concluded, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in house of the Lord forever.” the only sound in the hall was the rustle of handkerchiefs as they brushed away tears. The silence was finally broken when the actor stepped forward and said, “Now you know why I wanted him to follow me. It’s just as I thought. You see, I know the Psalm, but he, he knows the Shepherd.

Knowing the Shepherd is what matters. David knew the Shepherd intimately as we see in this 23rd Psalm. 23rd Psalm is powerful and touches our whole lives. It is a prescription for the problems and pressures of our day and how God journeys and cares for us along the way. God provides for us, restores us, protects us, guides us, and exalts us. What a great shepherd we have … and like David we can boast “The Lord is my shepherd”. Amen

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

PRAYERS

God our strength

We put our trust in you.

Jesus, Good Shepherd we come to you,

the true guardian of our souls.

Keep your church focussed firmly on you and our kingdom.

Draw us closer in unity and fellowship in your name.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the good shepherd - Believers4ever.com | Cover pics for facebook,  Facebook timeline covers, Timeline cover photos

Jesus the Good Shepherd,

we come to you our protector.

Give us courage to place our trust

in following your ways of peace

Draw the nations closer into a community of shared humanity.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd we come to you,

with the injured and the weak.

Protect and hold in your love all

who cry to you in pain and suffering,

distress and anger

Revive them in your mercy

and meet them at their point of need.

Break free of suffering | SPEAKZEASY

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd,

accompany us in your work- places,

in our homes and neighbourhoods,

and give us grace and wisdom in our dealings with people.

Lead us too in those times of difficulty and pressure

to green pastures with still waters

to refresh our hearts, minds, and souls.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Pin on Love You AlwaysR

Jesus the Good Shepherd,

We pray today from those

who need protection from themselves,

those who are caught up in different forms of addiction

and are powerless to break free.

Bring the right people to their aid

and lead them to wholeness of life.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd,

who watches and protects your people.

Bring your wisdom to bear

in the difficult situations in the world.

We lift to you the war in the Middle East and in Ukraine

and ask for an end to all fighting and violence.

We lift to you concerns about Iran

and its involvement in the Middle East.

Above all we pray for the ending of hostilities

and for lasting peace.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd,

you lay down your life for the sheep,

so that we might have salvation, hope and new life.

Gather us in our final hour to your eternal fold.

As you know us, so may we hear you call us by name in your kingdom.

Be with all who mourn this day,

grant them comfort and strength in their loss and grief.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd

we place into your hands

the things that we cannot do,

asking for serenity to accept the things we cannot change

courage to change the things we can

and wisdom to know the difference.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

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Merciful Father accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord

who taught us to say together,

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

HYMN

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BLESSING

God the Father,

by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,

strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life;

and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

be among you and remain with you always. Amen

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DISMISSAL

Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

In the name of Christ,

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Welcome

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.

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Notices

Contemporary Service

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.

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