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The Seventh Sunday of Trinity – 18th July 2021

July 18, 2021

Thank you for joining our online worship including our Holy Communion and a short sermon. Below them are links to a selection of music (traditional,  modern and prayerful). Thanks once again to Stephanie Woollam for prayerfully choosing such a broad range of inspiring sacred music.

Please continue to share your views on our services.

God bless,

Nigel.

 

Welcome to our Holy Communion, led by The Revd. Sue Auckland

Our sermon today, from The Revd. Lyndy Domoney

 

Music links (just click on the titles below to be taken to the music hosted by YouTube).

More Traditional:

 

More Modern:

 
 
Prayerful
 
 

Sermon Text

Sheep without a Shepherd
Mark 6; 30-34 and 53-56 and Psalm 23


Mark 6 v 34. “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because
they were like sheep without a shepherd……”
Looking for direction in their lives, looking for someone to lead them during the turbulent times in
which they lived, looking for answers to questions they were asking – perhaps as a result of having
heard John’s teaching and his call to a baptism of repentance; perhaps having heard rumours of
John’s murder and trying to come to terms with that, what ever the reasons – there were many
people [5000 men we are told – not to mention the women and children] all of whom chose to
leave what they were doing that day and run around the lake shore to where they knew Jesus and
His disciples were heading, in the hope of being able to spend time with them and see if what they
had heard about them was true.
Jesus was becoming known as a teacher, preacher and doer of miracles; His disciples – had recently
completed a successful mission of preaching and healing throughout the area – so they too were
becoming known – and so the people went – impulsively, with no thought of what they would do
when they got there, or how they would feed and care for themselves and their families for the rest
of the day. They just went.
Now Jesus – had invited His disciples to draw aside for a rest – which they needed after the very
busy time they’d all had –
v 31+32 – ‘“ Come with me by yourselves to a quiet pace and get some rest.” So they went away by
themselves in a boat to a solitary place’!!! or so they thought – but getting off the boat – they were
confronted by this huge crowd which was the very last thing they needed at that time; but Jesus –
looking at them – had compassion on them – because (v34b) “they were like sheep without a
shepherd”; He recognised their confusion, their lack of direction and aimlessness, and – putting
aside His own exhaustion – He reached out to them in love and mercy, as – we are told – a shepherd
would to his sheep.
Some time later, Jesus referring to Himself as The Good Shepherd would say that His sheep – some
of those very people there that day – would listen to His voice and follow Him – that He knew them
each by name. This concept of the people of Israel being sheep who belonged to the Chief Shepherd
who was God – or Yahweh, can be seen throughout the O. T. and therefore was not a strange new
idea to those who heard it, but something – I believe – that would have given them comfort and a
sense of security.
One of the most familiar passages illustrating this – to us anyway – is the 23rd Psalm, our second
reading for today – written by King David, who was known as ‘the Shepherd King’ and wrote many
of his psalms out of his personal knowledge and experiences of God in very specific ways – as the
God Who met his every need of provision and protection, compassion and mercy – and he wrote
Psalm 23 using the imagery of sheep and Shepherd out of his own experience of having been a
shepherd and caring for his flock of sheep – but with the focus being on his understanding of being
a sheep in God’s flock and experiencing for himself God’s presence and love.
David – who knew the history of the People of Israel – and had had a personal knowledge of God
since he was young – had found God to be utterly faithful – so he could say – v 1 “with the Lord as
my Shepherd – I have everything I need”. This tells us of his relationship with God – and God’s
provision – he then goes on to talk about the specifics of God’s provision. Of how the good
shepherd knows exactly where to find green pastures – even in the most barren desert – how He
knows where to find life giving water – not stagnant – not too fast flowing; He knows how to
protect His sheep in dark and dangerous places – literally laying down His life for His sheep. As
David Adam – a christian author has said – “ this is not a cozy Psalm – but one that acknowledges
that green pastures cannot be taken for granted; desert, wilderness, hunger, thirst, darkness, death –
are all realities – yet it knows these do not have the last word.” God does!
There is so much to learn from King David’s story. So much to learn from one who lived under the
restrictions of the law, yet who understood and experienced the freedom of knowing the Lord as his
Shepherd – who learned of the consequences of disobedience and of the need for real repentance.
( read the story in 2 Samuel 11 and 12) So much for those “new testament” people we heard of in
our reading today – to learn and understand as they began to be “shepherded” by Jesus – and were
taught about repentance and forgiveness, faith and love.
So much for us to learn about following Jesus once we have chosen to call Him ‘Our Shepherd.’
It’s not news that God’s people sin – they/ you / me – are not immune to temptation or inoculated
against disobedience! Jesus still looks on a confused and aimless world – a world or people /sheep
without a shepherd – and continues to reach out in compassion and mercy longing to be their /our
Shepherd – speaking words of forgiveness and life in the times we fail – if we are truly sorry – and
then using every part of every sinful or rebellious situation – the hurt, pain, shame, guilt – all of it –
to teach us and grow us up – to equip us to serve in His Name – and bring us to a place of wholeness

  • of holiness.
    Truly – with the Lord as our Shepherd – we have everything we need. Praise His Name!

From → Worship

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