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a collage image of 4 photos showing shepherds digging sheep out of big snow drifts

Friday Connection – 1st May 2020

Welcome to our Seventh Friday Connection – 1st May 2020

Dear Friends we hope you are all well and feeling at peace in this strange time. Perhaps you have been able to do jobs that have been waiting for a while; maybe you have found a new hobby or craft; you may have been able to think and meditate on your life as a Christian and read your Bible more and dig deeper into God’s word to us.

When we lived and worked in Derbyshire in the 1970’s we had a very bad late fall of snow, just after the sheep had all had their lambs – there were drifts four feet deep in the whole valley that was Edale. For almost 48 hours without stopping only for food and a short rest, the shepherds in the valley kept searching and digging until every one of their sheep and lambs had been accounted for. The most distressing sight was a pile of lambs in a farm yard, all had perished but the most poignant sight was the efforts of those shepherds tirelessly searching until ALL had been found.

3 sheep lay in the foreground where snow has been cleared, and a man's legs can be seen sticking out of the snowdrift behind them

Project that into one of the readings for today – John 10 verses 1-10, the parable of the Good Shepherd. Jesus never stops searching and finding those folk who have lost their way in life – often through their own misguided efforts and ideas. And when we are feeling lost, in times of questioning and sometimes doubt or fear, Jesus always calls us back to himself, to receive the love, life and assurance that only he can give: “I have come that you will have life in all its fullness.”

The picture of God as our shepherd is written throughout the whole of the Bible. One of the other readings for Sunday is Psalm 23 which we probably all know by heart and which brings strength and comfort to many. It is so wonderful to know that Jesus wants us to have that fullness of life and that Gods unquestioning love for us is shown in so many verses. Although it is not one of the week’s readings Isaiah 43 tells us ‘I have called you by name, you are mine, do not be afraid. You are precious to me and I love you’. If a shepherd cares for his sheep with great care and devotion, how much more does Jesus love and care for each of us. Also in Isaiah 40 verse 11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart…

What wonderful readings for the week, full of peace, encouragement and love.

And I will trust in You alone, And I will trust in You alone,
For your endless mercy follows me,
Your goodness will lead me home.
© Stuart Townend (click on the link to hear the song).

These are the four readings for the week if you would like to study them all:
Acts 2:42-47Psalm 231 Peter 2:19-25John 10:1-10

With our love and prayers Terry and Irene