We gather together in the presence of our Shepherd God, who calls us each by name, who restores our souls, who leads us in the way of righteousness, and whose goodness and love never stops pursuing us. This is the God we have come to worship!
Confession & Words of Assurance
Gentle Shepherd, You guide us in right paths, You lead us in the ways of righteousness, but we have allowed our anger, our rage, our greed, and at times even hate, to direct our paths. We have overreacted, we have taken more than our share, we have despised others that seem to have it all. Forgive us, God, for not following Your ways. Forgive us for not remembering that we are Your sheep, and You are our Shepherd. Forgive us when we have not listened for Your voice and instead have acted in the ways of the world. Guide us back to Your path, to loving You and loving our neighbors. Help us to unclench our fists and lend out our hands in hope and healing, forgiveness and love. In the name of Christ our Shepherd we pray. Amen.
So, hear the good news: in Jesus Christ we are sought, we are found, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!
I am the good shepherd
John 10 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 When the hired hand sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. That’s because he isn’t the shepherd; the sheep aren’t really his. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 He’s only a hired hand and the sheep don’t matter to him.
14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I give up my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that don’t belong to this sheep pen. I must lead them too. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock, with one shepherd.
17 “This is why the Father loves me: I give up my life so that I can take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I give it up because I want to. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it up again. I received this commandment from my Father.”
Lord, we ask for the courage of the Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep. We pray for those prepared to suffer and even to die for what they believe in. We pray for those whose lives and rights are sacrificed in the name of power and greed. We pray for those who risk themselves by accompanying others along paths of deep suffering, through valleys of fear and despair.
Lord we ask for the compassion of the good shepherd who leads his sheep to safe pasture. We pray for those who work to feed and shelter and educate the poor peoples of our world. We pray for those skilled at nursing and healing those who are suffering or ill In body, mind or spirit. We pray for those who care, for the victims of our society, those unable to cope with life, the neglected, the abused.
Lord, we ask for the love of the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep by name. We pray for our church, locally and throughout the world. We pray for those we know, relatives or friends who are facing difficult times.
We pray for ourselves that we might hear the call from our Good Shepherd and follow his way of love.
All of these prayers and so may more we pull together and pray the prayer tradition has taught us…
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,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Go now with your trust in the Nobel Shepherd,
and let us love, not just in words,
but in truth and action.
Believe in the name of Jesus Christ,
and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
Thanks be to God.