11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away — and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
- The Good Shepherd is calling the flock to follow.
- What do you hear?
- How do you follow?
- How does Jesus know you?
- How do you know Jesus’ voice?
- What sheep not currently in the fold will Jesus bring in?
- How will they know his voice?
- What part of you needs to be brought into the fold?
- What do you need to hear from your Good Shepherd?
- Believe that Jesus has the power to help his sheep.
- Jesus wants to help you.
- Give thanks to God for the Good Shepherd, for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
- Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, April 22, 2012, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year B)
1 John 3:16-24
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD