Everything you wanted to know about Christianity
at the Anglican Parish of the Otways
Please join me each week for our reflections
of sermons conducted during our church service.
Plus, occasional splashes of humour and epiphanies!
With much Love and Blessings
Rev. Jenny Brandon
THE 4th Sunday after Easter each year, is always Good Shepherd Sunday as the gospel exalts Jesus, as 'the Good Shepherd.'
There are many important things emphasised in this reading. Here are just a few:
Jesus emphasises the self-sacrificing element
in his own life: and contrasts the good shepherd
who owns the sheep to someone who is simply hired
to look after them.
The hired man thinks primarily of his own welfare where,
on the other hand, the Good shepherd is prepared to
lay down his life for his sheep, and in giving his life
for his sheep, he is doing so of his own free will.
There was no coercion involved.
Secondly, the good shepherd knows his sheep and
they know him. There is a mutual bond of
love and intimacy and that love is compared to
the deep mutual relationship that exists
between Jesus and his Father.
14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:14-15
In 1 John 3:16 he similarly articulates this sentiment when he says;
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us....'
Thirdly, the good shepherd deeply desires that many sheep
should come to identify themselves with him.
The ultimate goal is that "there will be only one flock,
and one shepherd",
that the whole world will be united together with God
Lastly, all of this is intimately linked with a second theme
We have for too long given a much too narrow meaning to the word
‘vocation’. We tend to limit it to a calling to be a priest
or a member of a religious institute,
both very important,
but, in fact, every single one of us has a vocation.
For most of us, probably, it is what we are now doing
be it as spouses, parents, grand parents,
teachers, doctors, civil servants, running a business,
salespersons… or whatever.
Each one of us should be asking ourselves today:
Is what I am spending my energies on every day
my real vocation?
Is this what God wants me to be doing with my life?
God is calling every single one of us to work for the Gospel.
For a small number it may be as a cleric or other religious persuasion –
But there are hundreds of other ways of serving the Church
and helping to build up the Christian community.
Where is God calling you to make your own unique contribution
based on the particular talents God has given you?
If every single one us were to answer that question
sincerely and to act upon it,
I am confident that our Church would go
from strength to strength in its ministry in this place.
The Lord be with you!
About the author
Rev. Jenny is an ordained Priest of the Anglican Diocese delivering services at Anglican Parish of the Otway churches every week.
With great depth of knowledge and a spiritual practice that shows she walks her talk and has taken her to the far reaches of N.T. Australia working with indigenous youth and elders.