Sermons 2008
Ordinary good shepherds, Easter 4A 2008, 13 April 2008, John 10:1-10

Home | Light and Love, Christmas 1B , 28 December 2008, John 1:1-18 | The light and the darkness, Christmas Day, 25 December 2008, John 1:1-14 | What would you see? Christmas Eve, 24 December 2008, Luke 2:1-20 | What did you say? Advent 3B, 14 December 2008, John 1:6-8. 19-28 | A refining fire, Advent 2B, 7 Dec 2008, Mark 1:1-8 | Alert, alert! Advent 1B, 30 November 2008, Mark 13:24-37 | Where will we stand: sheep or goats? Proper 29A 2008, 23 November 2008, Matthew 25: 31-46 | The talents to...? Proper 28A, 16 November 2008, Matthew 25:14-30 | Choose this day, Proper 27A, 9 November 2008, Joshua 24:14-25; Matthew 25:1-13 | All Saints A, 2 November 2008, Matthew 5:1-12; 23:1-12 | Holy or not? Proper 25A, 26 October 2008, Matthew 22:34-46 | Things: God's or Caesar's? Proper 24A, 19 October 2008, Matthew 22:15-22 | The wedding and the allegory, Proper 23A, 12 October 2008, Matthew 22:1-14 | The vineyard and the rock, Proper 22A. 5 October 2008, Matthew 21:33-46 | Deference and disobedience, Proper 21A, 28 September 2008, Exodus 17:1-7; Matthew 21:23-32 | Be content, Proper 20A , 21 September 2008, Matthew 20:1-16 | Only one true church? Proper 18A, 7 September 1008, Matthew 18:15-20 | Be content! Proper 20A, 21 September 2008, Matthew 22:1-16 | Be content! Proper 20A, 21 September 2008, Matthew 20:1-16 | Holy Name and Holy Ground, Proper 17A, Exodus 3:1-15; Matthew 16:21-28 | What's in a name? Proper 16A, 24 August 2008, Matthew 16:13-20 | Dogs? Proper 15A, 17 August 2008, Matthew 15:10-28 | Time to get out of the boat, Proper 14A, 10 August 2008, Matthew 14:22-33 | Who, me? Proper 13A, 3 August 2008, Matthew 14:13-21 | LIKE what? Proper 12A, 27 July 2008, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 | Good seed, bad seed, Proper 11A , 20 July 2008, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 | Watch the Farmer, Proper 10A, 13 July 2009, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 | Easy Yoke? Proper 9A 2008, 6 July 2008, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 | Baptism of David William and Anne Tyler, Proper 8A, 29 June 2008 | The Twelve or the Dirty Dozen? Proper 6A, 15 June 2008, Matthew 9:35-10:15 | Jesus likes sinners?, Proper 5A, 8 June 2008, Matthew 9:9-13 | Lawlessness or not? Pentecost 3A, Proper 4A, 1 June 2008, Matthew 7:21-29 | What do you mean, if? Easter 6A, 27 April 2008, John 14:15-21 | Comforting words and St Thomas, Easter 5A, 20 April 2008, John 14:1-14 | Ordinary good shepherds, Easter 4A 2008, 13 April 2008, John 10:1-10 | Light for clarity, Easter 3A, 6 April 2008, Luke 24:13-35 | "Blessed are those who....", Easter 2A, 30 March 2008, John 20:19-31 | Hallelujah! He's alive! Easter Sunday A, 23 March 2008, John 20:1-18 | He had it all, Palm Sunday A, 16 March 2008, Matthew 26:14-27:54 | Lazarus: Waiting for Jesus, Lent 5A, 9 March 2008, John 11:1-45 | Miracles Physical and Spiritual, Lent 4A, 2 March 2008, John 9:1-41 | Living Water, Lent 3A, 24 February 2008, John 4:5-42 | God's unselfish love, Lent 2A, 17 February 2008, John 3:1-17 | Temptation, Lent 1A, 10 February 2008 | Ash Wednesday, 6 February 2008, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 | They heard the Lord call, Epiphany 3A, 20 Jan 2008, Matthew 4:12-23 | Come and See! Epiphany 2A, 20 January 2008, John 1: 29-42 | Remember Your Baptism? Epiphany 1A, 13 January 2008, Matthew 3:13-17 | We Three Kings, The Epiphany, 6 January 2008, Matthew 2:1-12

Easter 4A 2008 John 10:1-10

As he often did, Charles Kuralt made an astute observation – and I paraphrase: It does no harm just once in a little while to acknowledge that the whole country isn’t in flames, that there are people in the country besides politicians, Presidential candidates, entertainers, sports figures, and criminals. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the basic goodness of almost all the rest of us. But the thing to remember is that the world is full of good people, the good shepherds who surround us on all sides, good shepherds whose interest is our care and welfare.
We all recognize – or at least give lip service – to Jesus as the Good Shepherds – we all remember those Sunday School posters of Jesus holding the lost lamb. But sometimes it’s hard to remember these other good shepherds, good shepherds as unlikely Leroy, who regularly visits some of the lonely people in the Lancashire, who prays for me in the TriStar as soon as I have prayed and blessed him – quite regularly. You should see the tired checkers brighten and smile at the two of us.

Being a real shepherd can be a tough and thankless job. Sheep aren’t very bright and they smell bad and there is no rest from their care.

Being an ordinary good shepherd can also be a tough and thankless job. A family with young children was vacationing on a beach. Every morning they noticed what appeared to be a strange bag lady coming toward them on the beach. Her clothes were ragged and dirty and her stringy gray hair flew wildly in the wind. She was constantly picking things up from the sand and putting them into a bag,

And every morning the parents called their young children to them, away from the strange old woman’s path. They told the children to stay away from her, as she went by, constantly picking up things from the sand. Each time the old woman went by the young family she smiled at them – and they just glared angrily back at her.

Several years later they read her obituary in the paper. She had made it her lifelong task to pick up pieces of glass and other sharp things from the beach sand – so children wouldn’t cut their feet.

Ordinary good shepherds and angels have a lot in common. Angels bring the Good News of God’s love and mercy to those to whom they appear. They are always around us, especially in the form of our devoted dog companions, who watch over us day and night, and who love us no matter what.

Ordinary good shepherds bring the Good News of God’s love and mercy to those whom they touch with the example of their lives.

Ordinary good shepherds are the unexpected voice on the telephone when you need to hear it most.

Ordinary good shepherds write the note or letter that lifts your spirits when they are down -- and even when they are not.

Ordinary good shepherds bring you flowers from their yards, fruit from their trees, food from their gardens.

Ordinary good shepherds are always glad to see you at their door -- and they are often at yours.

Ordinary good shepherds are quick to forgive – and to ask for forgiveness, though they rarely need it.

Some ordinary good shepherds also devote themselves to thankless tasks like
--picking up glass and other sharp things from the sand to protect children’s feet.
--visiting hospitals and nursing homes when they don’t really want to be there.
--giving care or ensuring it to someone who is physically helpless.
--turning the other cheek even when they really want to lash back.

So why do the ordinary good shepherds among us keep at their work even when they are tired and discouraged and unappreciated? Maybe it’s because they take the Summary of the Law, Christ’s great mandate seriously: You shall love the Lord your God with every thing you are and have and you shall love your neighbors as yourself.

To be a Christian is to be an ordinary good shepherd to everyone around you:
--even when it’s hard,
--even when it’s inconvenient,
--even when it’s tiresome, awkward, daunting --
--not just when it’s easy.
And mostly because we have Jesus example of what a Good Shepherd is and does always before us – our Good Shepherd who loves us for all time.