The Fourth Sunday of Easter
(Readings: Acts 4.5-12; Psalm 23; 1 John 3.16-24; John 10.11-18)
This Sunday we will read together one of the most well known and widely loved psalms: Psalm 23. For many this is one of the first scriptures that they learn by heart: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…’
This word-picture of God as our shepherd is taken up by Jesus in our gospel reading: ‘I am the Good Shepherd’. It is one of a number of ‘I am’ statements in the Gospel of John that echo the self revelation of God to Moses at the burning bush. Of course, there are also echoes from our Psalm. There the LORD (YHWH) is the shepherd who leads. In our gospel reading, Jesus is the shepherd who ‘lays down his life for the sheep’. It is a reference to the cross and a reference to Jesus’ radical commitment to us, his sheep. Jesus is no hired hand drawn to self-preservation. His is a costly commitment to our good.
Later John wrote in his first letter that this revelation is the very source of our understanding of ‘love’. This does not only reveal God’s love toward us. It also reveals the source of our love toward others. As the apostle says: ‘By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.’ (1 John 3:16).
May we be known by this very love.
Our services today will be held at St Barnabas, Charnwood from 9:00am and at St Michael’s, Hall from 11:00am. All are welcome to join us.