A Shepherd for Us, April 29, 2012

Title:A Shepherd for Us, April 29, 2012

9 am Eucharist and 11am Morning prayer on a day that started out rainy and ended up a clear day. We had 10 at 9am and an even 40 at 11am. We welcomed Jim and BJ Anderson back from Texas during the winter but were disturbed to hear about his experience with hail in the winter.

Jackie Colins 2012-04-29

Morning Prayer featured a sermon by Jackie Collins on her experiences with Young Life in King George. Young Life is an interdenominatal group of students who discuss religious issues as they affect young students.  

In particular she belongs to the campaigners subgroup that features more Bible reading and discussion.

Using two chairs she described the role of sin and then reconciliation with God.

She then went into then challenge of dealing with Tyler’s near death experience while keeping her faith. Young Life obviously helped deal with the ordeal. 

The Gospel deal with sherpherding and obviously the adult leaders of the organization provide an example of that with the youth.

Children's Choir

The children’s choir also performed "Jesus showed us God’s Love" at the offertory. The words were printed in the bulletin . They were accompanied by Catherine Hicks and Becky Fisher. Nancy Long is also involved in their training.  The children’s choir meet three Wed a month for song, fellowship and other activities. 

Bald Cyprus

Catherine also recognized Tierra Carter for her donation of a Bald Cyprus tree and Nancy Wick for some Lenten Roses. The tree show above was planted near the river and the roses in back of the sacristy

ECW Joint Luncheon 2012-04-29

The joint ECW/Evening ECW luncheon was held at Lynn’s Tavern after church. 14 attended. They resolved to share meeing minutes with each other to improve communications between them. Marian above is welcoming to the luncheon

ECW Joint Luncheon 04-29-2012

The scripture readings revolved around Jesus as shepherd and recognizing the role of a shepherd in the other readings.

People in Jesus time knew sheep. Even they made their living as a carpenter or fisher, they knew or watched the shepherds all of the time, moving the sheep and goats from the pens to the fields. They drank the milk of those animals, turned that milk into cheese, and eventually ate the animals. Those animals provided not just daily nourishment, they were essential for important religious rituals.  

The scripture this week is part of the task written in the Gospel of John to understand who Jesus was.  Over and over again people were trying to understand who Jesus was and where he came from. "Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? . . . Who do you claim to be?" (John 8:53) Then, after being driven out of the temple, Jesus passed a blind man begging. As a sign of who he was, Jesus explained that the man’s blindness was not caused by his sin or the sin of his parents. Rather, "he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him" (John 9:3).

The good shepherd decides who is in the sheepfold, we do not. "I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold." (John 10:16) The Pharisees and the disciples alike thought that they knew who the chosen ones of God were. But this shepherd is telling them, and telling us, that there will be "one flock, one shepherd" and it is God, in Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, not we, who bring together that flock Jesus’ lengthy exploration of what it means to be and who is the good shepherd is a response to a group of Pharisees. 

What does it mean to be a sheep of Jesus’ flock?  As the sermon states "This good shepherd provides for our needs, revives us, guides us, accompanies us through the shadowy places in our lives, disciplines us, comforts us, sets a table for us, and anoints us with his goodness and his mercy."  

It means that we enter through his gate. Jesus is the way to salvation. We know his voice and follow him. He cares for us, keeping us safe. And when we wander away, which we know we do all too often, he comes searching for us. It’s an up close, personal relationship.

The sermon proposed another "I AM" for Jesus.  "I AM the bridge. Jesus is like that for us– a bridge between this life and the next.  The voice of Jesus never changes—Jesus calls us now, and someday, each one of us will hear that familiar and loving voice calling us across the bridge that carries us over the valley of the shadow of death into new life.  Jesus laid down his own life to become the bridge under our feet—as we sang last week"

"Jesus is also the bridge that connects each one of us with the other.  When we listen to his voice, we hear his voice telling us to love one another...  And so, even though we cannot see the destination across the bridge that those we love travel as they cross over the valley of the shadow of death, we know that they are still in the one flock in which we abide.  They have entered into the communion of saints, and they aren’t far away at all. "

The sermon is here. The readings are published as well as the bulletin for 9am and 11am.

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