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Related Bible reading(s): John 10.1-10

Abundance in lockdown?

A reflection for the fourth Sunday of Easter.

 

Reflection

Jesus ‘came that they may have life, and have it abundantly’ (John 10.10).

Yet, we find our lives more restricted than at any time for decades. And we may find certain items are far from abundant – whether that be toilet paper, flour or yeast. This may feel far from abundant life: certainly, the idea of being led out by a shepherd is a difficult one when we are shut inside our homes.

However, the Gospel message still stands. Our life in Jesus is not dependent on the places we can physically access or what material goods we were able to obtain prior to lockdown. Instead, we are called to be part of communities of faith, enjoying relationship with God and sharing what we do have with each other.

The disciples met together in the Temple and in each other’s homes – which is also a challenge for us at this precise moment. However, we can still call each other to pray. We can agree to watch a particular programme on television or online at the same time as each other, thus know that we are standing in God’s presence together – even when in different buildings.

We have been called to follow Jesus’ voice as our shepherd – together with the rest of the flock. And today, more than ever, we need – consciously and deliberately – to choose to reach out to others, and to take time to hear our shepherd’s voice.

 

Prayer

Jesus, thank you that you have made us part of your flock.
Help us to hear your voice today:
to hear your leading:
who we should contact,
and what we should pray for.
Help us to know that we are not alone,
and open our eyes to the abundance of your presence with us.
Amen.

 

A worship activity for all

On a sheet of paper, draw three columns. In the first column, write the names of other members of your congregation. In the second/middle column, write the names of the members of your family. In the third column, write down the names of your friends.

Then:

  • Thank God for each person whose name you have written down; that they – and you – are all part of God’s family. 
  • Ask God to make one name stand out for you; pray for that person to know God’s abundance in their life.
  • Ask God to make another name stand out; contact that person by phone, email or letter.

You could repeat this this activity more than once during the week.

 

Steve Taylor is joint vicar of St James Alperton CofE church near Wembley. He shares the job with his wife, Ali, and they share the house with their two daughters, two cats, a hamster and numerous fish.

 

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