As a child I had a prayer book my mother made for me, and on the front she had put a picture of Jesus as a shepherd with tiny frolicking lambs around him, and I seem to remember other little animals running around in a typical English meadow. I am sure it was a Margaret Tempest picture, the woman who did all the wonderful illustrations for the Little Grey Rabbit books.
We all know how popular pictures of Jesus the Good Shepherd are. In many of the images Jesus is carrying a lamb or a sheep over his shoulders, holding the two front legs of the lamb in his right hand and the two rear legs in his left hand. This image and the one I had on the front of my childhood prayer book, appeal to us because of the tenderness of Jesus, his care for the lambs and the obvious compassion on his face and in his gestures. Continue reading
This Sunday is often know as Good Shepherd Sunday, since every year we have a gospel reading about Jesus, the Good Shepherd. In our service we reflected on what it really means to be his sheep.
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
It’s no great secret that I am a great Star Trek Fan. And the crew of the Enterprise regularly found new worlds and civilizations, and then need to find out more about them before making first contact.
What if we were on the receiving end of that? What if intelligent beings from another planet were to discover earth? I’m sure one of the first things they would want to do is find out something about us. And one way of doing that might be to have a look at what programmes we watch on television – what are the things that we are interested in and want to watch on TV. Well, as they study our television schedules they might be forgiven for concluding that we are obsessed with two things. Continue reading
This Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday. Here’s what I said.
A question for you.
When is a door not a door?
When it’s ajar!
No – it’s not funny is it? That’s one of those jokes that was around when I was a child. I didn’t understand it and never found it funny in the slightest. As I got older and the penny dropped and I realised why it was supposed to be funny, it still wasn’t funny!
People who heard Jesus’ teaching may well have seen the joke. After all, when he told people not to worry about taking a speck out of someone else’s eye because they had a whopping great plank sticking out of their own eye, and they should sort that out first, people would have seen the joke. Continue reading
The fourth Sunday after Easter is also known in many churches as Good Shepherd Sunday as the gospel reading in each year of the three year cycle is about Jesus as our shepherd.
There has been a lot in the news recently – but one big story that broke a week last Thursday may, I suspect, have passed you by – it doesn’t seem to have made the national press though it was reported by the Gloucestershire Echo and posted on its This is Gloucestershire web page.
Police in the small town of Newent have seized a flock of delinquent sheep – the sheep have been terrorising the town. The seven sheep, whose owners had allegedly neglected them and allowed them to roam freely, were accused of “trashing fences, gardens, and other property.” Police were unable to solve the problem themselves, so they called in a shepherd and two sheepdogs to help crack the case. The sheep have now been successfully rounded up and auctioned off to cover the cost of the operation. A local constable said, “The community has suffered a great deal because of this.” Perhaps we should call them The Newent Seven. Continue reading
Here’s my sermon for this Sunday, Good Shepherd Sunday.
Every year on this 4th Sunday of Easter we keep what has become known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Now, since we kept Good Shepherd Sunday last year it’s not been a good year in the sheep world – for on the 4th Jun 2011, that great icon of sheepdom, Shrek the sheep, passed away. Continue reading