As we gathered for Morning Prayer this morning we were very conscious of the unseasonable weather. The sun was shining brightly as the snow flakes fell. Someone told me that the weather-people are considering renaming this season “Sprinter” because neither winter nor spring seem adequate in themselves.
The very severe conditions which our Parish is avoiding (so far) have brought incredible hardship to people and livestock across the country. Many households have been without power and sometimes water, and there have been many expressions of sympathy with the farming community.
Some farmers have been unable to get access to their animals, and while the extent of the losses is not yet known the sad news is likely to be that a great deal of livestock will have perished.
Throughout Holy Week we have been exploring the image of the lamb of God- which points us to Jesus: his sacrifice for us, his willing giving of himself, his spotless perfection and his eternal victory.
However, the image of sheep and lambs is used of people too.
To avoid our theology getting a bit woolly it’s not always complimentary. In scripture sheep wander off, get lost, are wilful and stubborn – but the best thing is that they can get to know the Good Shepherd.
We have a Good Shepherd whose pro-vision does not run out. See elsewhere in the Messenger for a longer message from yours truly.
We need to get to know him even better – to recognise his voice and stay close to him.
I hope that:
1 The weather does improve.
2 That those who work the land are encouraged by much better circumstances in the months to come
3 That in our Christian discipleship we are able to rest and rejoice in God’s care.
David, the Shepherd King writes in one of his Psalms
Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them for ever.
Yours in Christ