Tag Archives: Shepherds

Advent and Christmas

Long time no blog.

Yet another family crisis (how many can there be in one year I wonder to myself!) has rather occupied my life for the last three weeks –

BUT in that time, people have been beavering away on my behalf and I am delighted and quite excited to announce (cue fanfares, streamers, glitter explosions etc…)

2015-09-14 16.04.19

I have been encouraged to produce some of the reflections from this blog into a book, and decided to start with this collection of reflections for Advent and Christmas.  They are not new, but reworked for print.

Voices for Advent and Christmas contains 24 prayers and meditations on the familiar voices of the Christmas Story, from Adam through to Rachel weeping.  It covers the traditional readings of the Nine Lessons and Carols Service, plus others through to Jesus Presentation in the Temple.

It would work as a resource for worship, or as personal reflections to prepare ourselves in this busy season.

There has been a delay at the printers, but I hope it will be available later this week.

The price is £4 plus postage (70p second class within the UK, for other prices please ask)

To order or ask more please complete the form below and I can give you details for paying and you can give me your address.  Payment can be made via paypal or by sending me a cheque.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged and cajoled me into this 🙂  And for anyone who is willing to buy one

 

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Mattering not Scattering

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You asked me to care for the sheep
and I haven’t.
My chasing around,
flapping about,
rather than protecting
has chased them away.

I was meant
to be looking after them
for you,
yet I have chased them away from you.

Thank God,
that despite my failings
in love and care,
his love and protection go on.

He can see those that I have scattered,
hurt,
pained,
squeezed out
and chased away,
and he gathers them
back to himself,
into the safety of his fold.

Forgive me Lord,
the times when I have
driven others from you,
made it impossible
to get near you,
or stay close,
bitten and snapped
until they have got the message
that they are not welcome.

When I have not helped them,
encouraged them,
shared the food
and shelter,
allowed them to grow,
but been selfish
with what you have given.

May there be a way back to you
for me too.

I pray
for justice,
wisdom
and safety.
For those who can lead us there
in our communities.

We pray for governments
and leadership
who want to gather
not scatter,
to care
not scare,
strengthen their people
not send them away needing,
to love and protect
not hurt and harm.

Lord,
may we model ourselves on you
the Good Shepherd,
who carries the broken
the lost
and weary,
and to whom each and every person matters

Jeremiah 23:1-6 (CEV)

A Message of Hope

The Lord said:

23 You leaders of my people are like shepherds that kill and scatter the sheep. You were supposed to take care of my people, but instead you chased them away. So now I’ll really take care of you, and believe me, you will pay for your crimes!

I will bring the rest of my people home from the lands where I have scattered them, and they will grow into a mighty nation. I promise to choose leaders who will care for them like real shepherds. All of my people will be there, and they will never again be frightened.

Someday I will appoint
an honest king
    from the family of David,
a king who will be wise
    and rule with justice.
As long as he is king,
Israel will have peace,
    and Judah will be safe.
The name of this king will be
    “The Lord Gives Justice.”

Following the Shepherd

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I don’t know the way.

I like to think I do,
that I can get myself there,
chart my own waters,
make my own decisions,
know what is best

but

I am easily distracted
by something that looks interesting,
tasty,
shiny.
I like to walk on the wild side,
laugh in the face of danger,
challenge good advice.

I won’t fall down there.
Who says that’s not good for me?
But I just want to taste.

But you,
you Lord,
you know what I need
and you will lead me there
if only I am not so stubborn.

You know the green, lush fields,
the safe spaces,
the resting place
for me.

You watch me like a hawk,
ready to catch,
to water,
to lovingly tend and rescue me
yourself,
whatever the cost.

You love me
and walk with me
every day of my life,
every step I take,
you are there,
whether I see you or not.

However difficult,
desperate,
painful
things are

You,
you are there.

You walk with me.

Companionable,
Caring,
loving,
tending
God.

May I learn to hear your voice
and follow it
all the days of my life.

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Psalm 23 (CEV)

(A psalm by David.)

The Good Shepherd

23 You, Lord, are my shepherd.
    I will never be in need.
    You let me rest in fields
    of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
    and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name,
    and you lead me
    along the right paths.
I may walk through valleys
as dark as death,
    but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me,
    and your shepherd’s rod
    makes me feel safe.

You treat me to a feast,
    while my enemies watch.
You honor me as your guest,
    and you fill my cup
    until it overflows.
Your kindness and love
will always be with me
    each day of my life,
    and I will live forever
    in your house, Lord.

John 10:11-18 (CEV)

11 I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. 12 Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don’t own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. 13 Hired workers run away because they don’t care about the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me. 15 Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep.16 I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them together too, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.

17 The Father loves me, because I give up my life, so that I may receive it back again. 18 No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.