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  • David Bent

Other Sheep (23-09-22)

Psalm of Praise: Psalms 46:6-7, 10-11

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

He says, "Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


Bible Reading: John 10:14-18

Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.

I have other sheep that are not of this sheepfold. I must bring them also.

They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life, only to take it up again.

No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.

I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.

This command I received from my Father."


A Reflection:

Good relationships are at the heart of any close family or friendship group. Such families and groups have their own shared history, in-jokes and friendly banter. Sometimes it can be difficult for a new person to join an established group whether it’s by marrying into a large family or by joining an existing club or social group. But families and groups thrive and grow when they are outward-looking.


In the concept of the Holy Trinity we have an image of a group of three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in perfect unity; a unity based on love, trust and mutual submission. Like all successful human relationships, the relationship within the Trinity is also outward-looking, reaching out through Jesus with a love that was prepared to lay down its life for each one of us.


What is more Jesus, the Good Shepherd, tells us that his relationship with his sheep, the Church, is the same as that between himself and his Father, I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.’ I find that quite staggering. This type of relationship can’t be found by reading about a person or group, it can only be found by spending time together, by growing together in relationship.


Jesus spoke these words to a Jewish audience, and in it he said that he had other sheep that he needed to bring into the flock, sheep that were not of this sheepfold. This is generally thought to refer to the church’s mission to the non-Jewish communities. To the Gentiles. To you and to me. The early church also needed to be outward looking in order to thrive and to grow.


The same is true today. To thrive and to grow as a church we too need to be outward-looking.


I wonder, who the sheep of another sheepfold might be for us today. How might we bring them in?


Pray:

lord Jesus, as you reached out to me in love, help me to reach out to those who are not yet part of your flock.

Amen


So freely flows the endless love you give to me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKXaviWVxNc

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