Morning Prayer, 25 Feb – John 10:11-21 ~ the good shepherd

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences – Brigid of Kildare (c. 450-523)

There is a friend’s love in the gentle heart of the Saviour. For the love of Him we offer friendship and welcome every guest in this house.

Lord, kindle in my heart a flame of love to my neighbour, to my enemies, my friends, my kindred all, from the lowliest thing that liveth to the name that is highest of all.

Morning readings

John 10:11-21 ESV:

I AM the Good Shepherd lee hodges

“I am the Good Shepherd”
by Lee Hodges

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him. Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”


God’s beauty

Jesus is the good shepherd, and there is something admirable, heroic and attractive in his death. This is far more than an admirable death of a martyr. For in this death we see the beauty of God himself, since God is love, and love is the laying down of life.

In Jesus we see the divine character, and what we see is beautiful. When we are able to really see God as Jesus has revealed him we cannot help praising him if we have hearts that are open to God. Such a vision of God’s beauty is at the heart of all true worship.

loving intimacy

The intimacy of the Father and the Son is so close it is described as a oneness, and a similar oneness of life is affirmed between Jesus and his disciples. The believer is not stirred into some cosmic soup but rather there is a radical oneness that does not obliterate the distinctness of the person. As the holy Trinity is both One and Three, so the believer is one with God and yet distinct from God. This closeness includes the most intimate of relations between Jesus and each of his followers, and it is part of the union with God that they enter into in Christ through membership in his flock.

new community

This flock – this new community – is based in his death. The very pattern of life in this new community is that of life laid down for one another, a cruciform life. The possibility of such a life and the power for such a life come through the life of the Son of God poured out on the cross, thereby uniting God and mankind by taking away the sin of the world and revealing the glory of God.

voluntary submission

Jesus makes it clear that his life is not simply taken from him by his opponents. At no point in this Gospel are his actions determined by human agenda, and his death will be no different. It may look like the triumph of darkness over light, but it is not.

Yet, despite this talk about having authority and acting from himself, the hallmark of Jesus’ life is dependence on the Father. So he concludes by grounding all that he has said in this truth. In laying down his life and taking it back he is obeying his Father. He knows his Father’s voice and obeys, just as we are to hear his voice and obey.

The IVP New Testament Commentary Series




Christ, as a light… illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield… overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.


May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen


Peanut Gallery: A brief word of explanation – the general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) The Scripture readings are primarily from the Gospel of John, with the intent to complete the reading by Easter. Other Scriptures which illuminate the Gospel of John will be included along the way.

Reflections from various saints will be included as their memorial days occur during the calendar year.

On Sundays, I’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world.

Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.

Categories: Life in Christ

1 reply

  1. There are some people in my local church that I would have trouble laying my life down for. May God give me HIS Love.

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