Daily Devotion 26 March 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.
John 10:1-10 ‘Jesus the Good Shepherd’

1 ‘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. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ 6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 7 So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly’.

The shepherd was a familiar figure in Palestine. He spent much of his life with his flock. His own sheep knew and responded to his voice. He led – not drove – them to fresh grazing. He guarded them from wild animals by lying across the entrance to the sheep fold at night, so becoming its door.

The Fourth Gospel includes these the wonderful words to explain the loving nature of Jesus. Jesus assures his friends that he will be alongside, take care of them at all times, that he is their Shepherd, their protection, and will bring life to them.

These words were true for the first disciples, and they are true for us – never more so than in these
uncertain times.

In Jesus Christ we have a Saviour whose words we hear, whose voice we know in our hearts, whose love is unfailing and will never weaken.

Prayer:
Loving Lord,
our Shepherd and Protection
you know what we are going through at the moment;
we are troubled by loneliness, separation and uncertainty.
In all our sorrow and pain – just like you faced Loving Lord,
help us to realise that you are our true Shepherd
and that you will never leave us or forsake us. Amen

Image: artist unknown.
Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Matthew Earl.
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