47 adults and 16 children joined us for Family Worship this morning in Itchen Valley Parish. What a great service led by BCMers Tim Clapp and Julia Wright with James Greig doing the technical stuff in the background!
Some wonderful worship songs: The Lord’s my shepherd, My God is the king of the giants and Amen Praise the Lord.
The Terhalle family led the prayers beautifully. Thank you to everyone who took part.
The Lost Sheep talk by BCM Julia Wright
Good morning everyone!
It’s so great to see you all today on our screens, even if we can’t be together.
I’m going to talk about this story that we just watched, and I have a few questions that I might need you to help me with.
So if I ask a question and you want to tell me the answer, wave at your computer and then I can hear what you have to say.
And if that sounds a bit scary, maybe your mummy or daddy can do the talking for you.
So, the story we just watched was first told a long, long time ago by Jesus.
It was a parable, which is a story that has an important meaning.
But to understand what the important meaning of this story is, we need to know who Jesus is talking about when he talks about the sheep, and the shepherd.
So first question for all or you…
Who do you think the sheep are meant to be?
And who do you think the shepherd is meant to be?
Jesus says that we, all of us, including me, and including you, are like the sheep.
And He, Jesus, is like the shepherd.
So straight away we can learn quite a lot about ourselves, and Jesus, just by thinking about what sheep and shepherds are like.
Have a think – what do you think sheep are like?
Are they very clever? Or a bit dim?
Can they look after themselves or do they need someone to look after them?
Anyone have any thoughts?
I think sheep are not particularly clever.
And they need a shepherd to look after them.
So we, just like the sheep aren’t actually very clever, and we need a shepherd to look after us.
But going back to our story – why do you think that naughty sheep got lost?
Why didn’t he stay close to the shepherd where he was safe?
Does anyone have any ideas?
Why might that sheep have got lost?
Those are all great ideas.
I think there are a number of possibilities as to why he got lost.
Perhaps the sheep was bored staying close to the shepherd and all the other sheep.
And so he thought life would be more exciting if he went off on his own.
I expect he had quite a lot of fun to start with.
He could explore exciting new places. What a fun adventure he could have.
Or perhaps, rather than being bored, that sheep didn’t like being told what to do.
(clip of Ben stamping his foot and walking off his own way)
He wanted to be in charge, not that shepherd.
He was going to do things his way.
Or, rather than being bored or naughty, perhaps the sheep just didn’t believe that his shepherd was true.
Rather than being his shepherd, the sheep just thought he was a nice sort of man,
but definitely not powerful and certainly not a shepherd.
And so the sheep thought he should take things into his own hands and go off his own way.
But whatever the reason was – whether our sheep was bored, naughty, or just didn’t believe – he quickly got into trouble.
He soon grew tired.
He couldn’t find nice grass or water.
And then he got stuck and hurt himself.
But worst of all, he was lost and couldn’t find his way home to the shepherd.
So what did the sheep do?
He called out.
And because the Shepherd knew his sheep, he knew that voice, and he was able to find his precious sheep.
And do you remember how our Shepherd felt when he found his sheep?
Was he very cross with that sheep? Did he give it a good telling off?
Can any of you remember how the shepherd felt when he found his sheep?
Exactly! The shepherd was over the moon!
(play clip from the story of Jim dancing around with Ben)
The shepherd was so happy.
Why? Why did he feel like that?
Because he loved his sheep.
And he rejoiced that his precious sheep was now safe and well again.
So what can we can learn from this story today?
Firstly we need to remember that we are not the shepherd.
We are just the sheep, and Jesus is our shepherd.
We don’t have to fight the wolves or lions that come along – Jesus will fight them for us.
There aren’t actually many wolves or lions in Hampshire, but I expect we will all have other scary moments in our lives.
And, like a shepherd, Jesus will take care of them for us.
We also don’t need to work out the best way to live all by ourselves – Jesus, our shepherd, will lead us throughout life. He will always show us the best way to go.
But most the most important thing we can learn from this story, is that Jesus loves us so much and never wants to lose us.
Now there may be times, when we do get lost – not because Jesus leaves us… but because we choose to go off, away from our shepherd.
Just like the lost sheep in the story, there are all sorts of reasons why we might go wandering away from Jesus.
But if we find ourselves like that lost sheep – (Play clip from story of Ben stuck in the cattle grid) – if we find ourselves feeling alone and scared, anxious and worried,
or completely lost in life with no idea of what life is all about – then all we need to do is call out to our shepherd.
To say, “Help! Jesus! I need you! I want to come home!”
And Jesus will hear us.
He will come and rescue us and bring us back to Himself.
Do you remember in the story, how the shepherd didn’t give up looking?
He fought through brambles and thorns.
And just like the story, there is no situation that is too tricky for Jesus to get through, in order to find us.
If we call out to Him, he will find us.
He’ll lift us into His arms of love and safety, back to the place where we are known and called by name.
Maybe later today, or when you’re going to bed tonight, have a think about what kind of sheep you are.
Are you happily grazing grass close to the shepherd?
If so, that’s a wonderful place to be – in fact it’s the best possible place to be.
Or have you wandered away from the shepherd – maybe just a little bit?
Or maybe a long way, and perhaps you’re feeling lost.
If you are feeling a bit lost, remember you only need to call out to Jesus, to say “Help!” and he will find you and carry you home to himself.
I’m just going to end in a quick prayer.
“Lord Jesus, thank you that you are the shepherd, and we are your sheep.
Thank you that you love each one of us here with the most incredible love.
Please help us to know this deep love, and to be quick to call out to you, whenever we get lost.
Help us to know that you will always find us when we call out to you. Amen”