Exploring the Sunday Gospel -Forth Sunday of Easter
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter. In the Gospel reading John draws on an image already well established in the Old Testament that models the relationship between God and the people of God on the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep. It is Psalm 23 that gives classic expression to this image: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want’. Throughout chapter 10 of his Gospel John develops this image to express who Jesus is. The theme reaches its climax in verse 11 with Jesus claiming ‘I am the good shepherd’. This image has inspired many generations of Christians.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of sheep. In today’s picture from his book, The Sunny Morning, Teddy Horsley meets sheep as he walks through the meadow.
you are the good shepherd
and we are called to follow you.
Teach us to hear your voice
and to learn from your teaching,
that we may dwell safely in your fold;
now and always.
Next Sunday is the Fifth Sunday of Easter when the Gospel reading from John’s Gospel is part of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse at the last supper where Jesus says, ‘I am the way’. The image to help prepare for next Sunday’s theme is maps. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.