Sunday 25 April 2021 - The Good Shepherd

This Sunday our service will be led by Derrick Tickner and will include Holy Communion. As usual the service is displayed here for those who are unable to attend to follow at home.

Derrick and his wife Sonja bring greetings from the Soar Valley Baptist churches.

Opening Words: Psalm 150 Praise The Lord

Hymn 154 For the might of Your arm


Come, sheep, and gather: let us flock together. Come, sheep, and gather: in the shelter of the shepherd – nurtured and protected, guided and known. Come, sheep, and gather: in the shepherd’s embrace. Come, sheep, and gather: let us listen to his voice.

Safe in the knowledge that we are loved, we come to the Good Shepherd seeking succour for our souls. Let not the wolf snatch our thoughts and scatter them, for our minds belong to Jesus, and our hearts are open to him.

Lord, we adore you, our Good Shepherd; always there, always watchful. Your f

old is the space you hold for us, where we know we are loved. Although dangers surround us, and in foolishness we may stray, you have our back. So many sheep, yet you know us all by name. Lord, we adore you, our Good Shepherd. Amen.

Flock of sheep. Image courtesy of Good News Productions International and College Press Publishing.
Jesus said "I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too"

Lords Prayer

Bible Readings

1 Corinthians 15:20-25 Our Resurrection and 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 - Victory through Christ

Hymn 424 Lo! He comes with clouds descending.


Derrick did not send any info re his message so I have taken some of this from our Roots material for this week and added to it.

A group of older people living in a block of low-rise inner-city flats looked forward to Mondays. Mondays was when their bins were emptied. Why would these people so look forward to having their bins emptied (apart, perhaps, from the obvious reason of getting rid of smelly rubbish)? Over several years, the residents and the binmen – and women, though they were mostly men – had got to know each other by name. The binmen never stayed very long; they were always rushing on to the next bin and the next street – schedules to fulfil! But while the bins were being emptied, or those few moments, the binmen and residents exchanged gossip and asked after each other. And the binmen asked especially after those they hadn't seen for a while. For some of the residents it was one of very few points of human contact during their week. For some of the residents it was just a bit of Monday morning fun, but for others it was a lifeline. They felt – they knew – they were not all alone; they were part of a community. And in that community, relationships mattered. And in that community, they felt cared for. Relationships make us feel cared for. Then, without warning – or that is how it felt to the residents – it all changed. The old well-known team of binmen were given a new area to work. Monday mornings weren’t the same for the residents. They now had to get used to a new group of binmen – and women – or ‘waste management and disposal technicians’ as they were now called. They had to start building their relationships all over again. The sense of being a community was certainly diminished for a while. Some residents said the changes made them feel less cared for. Coping with the pandemic and its aftermath during this past year has provided many challenges to our sense of community, and some very good opportunities too. What do you think God might be calling us to do that will help us build relationships and make sure everyone in our community feels cared for?

The Bible focus for this week on Roots is about Jesus as the Good Shepherd. and as the Good Shepherd Jesus cares for his flock, we are his flock, his people, his children. and Jesus explains how the Good Shepherd will always look after his flock, he knows each one of them by name. He tenderly feeds them, tucks them up to bed at night, He literally lies in front of the sheep pen to make sure that none of the sheep go out but that nothing else goes in. We can rest easy because we know that we are in the shepherd’s care. How comforting is that to know that God is looking out for us, He is watching over us. and no one will ever be able to separate us from the Good Shepherd. This is so encouraging and enables us to be free to live as God intended us to live, knowing that He is always there for us.

The story Jesus told of the Lost Sheep is so familiar to us and yet the image that that engenders in our mind is still so very, very strong. Having counted the sheep into the sheep pen at night, of the 100 sheep, one is missing. The Shepherd now has a dilemma, does he protect the 99 and forget about the one or does he go after the one in the hope that in his absence the 99 are safe? that's a really good dilemma question isn't it? what would you have done ? the Shepherd in the story Jesus told left the 99 and went after the one.

When he found the lost sheep, He gathered it in His arms and carried it back to the other sheep. This is a brilliant image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd He will seek out those who are lost he will not judge, he will merely pick us up carry us back to where the rest of his Kingdom is. This is the image of God our Father. This is how much He loves us how much He cares for us how much He longs for us to be back in His presence.

As the Good Shepherd, Jesus knows our voices He knows who we are, as the sheep, we know His voice and we have to crowd out every other voice to listen for His voice as He instructs guides and leads us to walk in His ways.

We are all part of His Kingdom and we need to look after each other and care for each other just as Jesus did.


Hymn 232 His hands were pierced.



As we entwine our hands in prayer, so we entwine our love, our care, our thoughts, our concerns for those whose names and situations we pray for.

As our hands entwine, we see the world is linked, so our prayers are for the world and all its people.

O Lord our God you are the shepherd of your sheep; of those who are faithful and stay near, of those who wander and are far off, of those who know you and those who don’t, of those who have heard your name and those for whom your name is a mystery yet to be revealed.

Shepherd of the sheep, we bring our prayers for them all.

For those who are lost or alone or lonely, struggling through life with no one to guide them, to protect and shelter them, to care for and sustain them; for those without family, without friends, without roots, without homes.

Shepherd of the sheep, we bring our prayers for them all.

For those with no food and no money to buy it, for those who struggle from day to day to feed themselves and their family and who feel they have nowhere to turn and no-one to turn to; praying especially for those in our own country who need to use food banks, that they may find there the support and lifeline they need in these times; praying too for the people of Brazil, especially those in the favelas where over half have barely enough food for one meal a day.

Shepherd of the sheep, we bring our prayers for them all.

For those who follow you in peril of their lives, fearful of arrest and persecution, and thinking at this time especially of those in China for whom worship is not easy.

Shepherd of the sheep, we bring our prayers for them all.

For peoples of all faith who seek peace and harmony but are challenged with sectarian views and violent extremists, who fear for their lives and their communities and their very existence.

Shepherd of the sheep, we bring our prayers for them all.

For those who struggle with damaged relationships and domestic violence, those who feel trapped and who see little option but the life they have and the path it has taken; that someone somewhere, will show them a better way, a safety net, a safe house and home and way of life.

Shepherd of the sheep, we bring our prayers for them all.

For those whose lives have been turned upside down by the Covid pandemic, through illness itself, through isolation, fear, hardship, unemployment, debt, overwork, stress or grief; may the world pull together to help and support and vaccinate and may all see and kno