Good Shepherd Celebration for the Community. Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artist performing hymns of traditional foundation.
Everyone is Welcome!
In the Parable of the Good Shepherd, as retold by John, Jesus is preaching to His people with a focus on the Pharisees. When Jesus starts with Very Truly I Tell You … we should take heed. As John is often quick to point out, the good shepherd will lay down his life for his sheep. This is quite different from a hired hand observing his masters sheep. Jesus will be obedient to His Father. Jesus will lay down His life and die for our sins. Jesus is the model for church leadership. If we identify ourselves as in called to Ministry, are we fraught with fear yet?
In today’s reading from Acts, we see the elders, chief priests, and scribes gathering to hear Peter and John. We find confrontation between those putting Jesus to death and the power that raised Jesus up. The confrontation is still on. Jesus is the stone that was rejected by the builders, it has become the cornerstone. We know the power of the Lord surpasses all that may attempt to defeat it.
In Psalm 23, David proclaims the Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want. Of course it is easy to imagine Jesus as Shepherd. Let us, as David, pause to consider ourselves in the role as Shepherd, seeking strength from God while pursuing His command to love one another, despite the difficulties we sometimes face doing so, and then continuing to return to Jesus no matter when or what we are dealing with.
Today’s Letter of John urges us to identify as, and practice being, children of God.
My Hope is Built on Nothing Less. Edward Mote (1834).
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
Old Testament: Acts 4:5-12.
Psalm: Psalm 23.
New Testament: 1 John 3:16-24.
Gospel: John 10:11-18.
Prayer: Mighty God, in whom we know the power of redemption, you stand among us in the shadows of our time. As we move through every sorrow and trial of this life, uphold us with knowledge of the final morning when, in the glorious presence of your risen Son, we will share in his resurrection, redeemed and restored to the fullness of life and forever freed to be your people. Amen.
Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us. Dorothy Thrupp. (1836). Rick Betts.
Savior, like a shepherd lead us, Much we need Thy tender care; In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, For our use Thy folds prepare: Jesus, blessèd Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are; Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Dear God, your Son remained with his disciples after his resurrection, teaching them to love all people as neighbors. As his disciples in this age, we offer our prayers on behalf of the universe in which we are privileged to live and our neighbors with whom we share it. Prayers of the People; Open our hearts to your power moving around us and between us and within us, until your glory is revealed in our love of both friend and enemy, in communities transformed by justice and compassion, and in the healing of all that is broken. Amen.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. (Book of Concord).
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Book of Concord). (Matthew 6:9-13).
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Handshake of Peace
The Apostle John proclaims, If we confess our sins He who is faithful and just will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.
Holy Spirit, Come to Us, Kindle in Us the Fire of Your Love. Taize Community
Institution of the Lord’s Supper
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. – Matthew 26:26-28(ESV).
Prayer: Shepherd of all, by laying down your life for your flock you reveal your love for all. Lead us from the place of death to the place of abundant life, that guided by your care for us, we may rightly offer our lives in love for you and our neighbors. Amen.
God be with You Till We Meet Again. Jeremiah Rankin (1880). Antrim Mennonite Choir.
God be with you till we meet again, By His counsels guide, uphold you, With His sheep securely fold you, God be with you till we meet again. Till we meet, till we meet, Till we meet at Jesus’ feet; Till we meet, till we meet, God be with you till we meet again.
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26.
The Service has ended. Go in Peace.
Thanks be to God.