The Fourth Sunday of Easter, 03 May 2020
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
O God, you never cease to call even those far away,
for it is your will that all be drawn into one fold.
Attune our ears to the voice of the Good Shepherd,
who leads us always to you, that we may find under your tender protection
life in all its fullness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever (and ever.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty – (Nathan and Christy Nockels and band)
A Reading from the Gospels: John 10:1-10 (NLT)
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Psalm 23 (Surely goodness surely mercy) – Shane & Shane
Prayers of Intercession:
Good Shepherd, Guardian of our souls: you are our provider and protector.
Lord, walk ahead of us, and help us to recognize your voice above all others.
Speak to each one of us by name, that we may be assured of your presence with us –
+ and always feel safe under your watchful protection ….
+ and always feel satisfied with your continual provision….
+ and find true rest and refreshment, the restoration of our souls….
+ and recognize your daily blessing , goodness and peace….
+ and stay close to you, following in your footsteps as you go before us….
+ and live by faith over fear even in this uncertain time of suffering and disease….
+ and live with strength and courage even in the face of death and destruction….
+ and receive the anointing of your Spirit when we are besieged by our enemies….
Good Shepherd, Guardian of our souls: enable us to live out our days with your strength and blessing –
assured that we will live with you forever, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Reading from the Epistles: 1 Peter 2:20-25 (NLT)
Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
- He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.
- He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
- He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
- He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.
- By his wounds you are healed.
Once you were like sheep who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.
Guardian Of My Soul – The Salvation Army Church in Oshawa, CA
Closing: John 10:10 (NLT)
Jesus: “My purpose is to give [you] a rich and satisfying life.”
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen