This Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Easter, is known as Good Shepherd Sunday. The name derives from the Gospel reading for the day, taken from the tenth chapter of John. CLICK HERE to view our worship service and make sure you watch the sermon!
I recommend listening to his moving words but here are some notes I took from Pastor Rouland’s sermon. He asks us to remember what it feels like to be lost and challenges us to think of the voices in our lives that drown out the clear voice of our Good Shepherd, Jesus. Pastor Rouland made me question, am I always being spiritually safe? Are there times in my life where I rely on myself to be safe, where I have created paths that are straight and safe and fail to listen to Jesus, the One who calls me by name? By spending time reading His word, singing His word and putting myself in places where I will hear Jesus, I will gain the spiritual safety I so yearn. Pastor Rouland reminds me that Jesus is here to carry me, to bear my burdens, to lead me home. Listen to the voice of our Good Shepherd, Jesus.
The Lord is My Shepherd- After reading Psalm 23 from my daughter’s Beginners Bible, we made a little lamb with cotton ball fleece to remind us that we are Jesus’ little lambs.
During this time of uncertainty we shouldn’t be afraid because Jesus, our Sheperd, is there to guide us, provide for us and love us, through good days and during dark times. We sang the Lutheran hymn, “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb” while we worked together. CLICK HERE to listen to a recording sung by children.￼
Symphony No 3 (fourth movement) by James Barnes– In January 2017, the Saint Louis Wind Symphony closed their performance at the Missouri Music Educators Association’s annual conference by playing the last movement of Barnes’s dynamic Symphony No 3. I play third clarinet in the SLWS and the piece, although challenging to play, is emotionally moving. The Third Symphony was commissioned by the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. Barnes, the composer, was told the piece needed to be a major work for wind band but was given no other parameters. Barnes began writing Symphony No 3 at a very tragic time in his life, shortly after his baby daughter Natalie died. The program notes state… The fourth movement (finale) represents a rebirth of spirit, a reconciliation for us all. The second theme of the last movement is based on the old Lutheran children’s hymn, “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb.” The hymn was sung at Natalie’s funeral and was the closing hymn my congregation sang on Good Shepherd Sunday.
CLICK HERE to hear the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. play the finale from Symphony No 3 by James Barnes.
I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb– While my family of three sang the closing hymn, “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb,”‘my daughter declared, “I wish you were still a child. Then I wouldn’t be born yet and I wouldn’t be here for the virus.” Then she went off and began to play. Deep thoughts for a five year old and a reminder that our children are continuing to process their new normal… a time of virtual church, virtual school and physical time away from extended family and friends. Although it’s OK to be afraid, upset and lost during this time, I want my daughter to find comfort in Jesus. To know that Jesus, her Good Shepherd, is here to carry her through this difficult time.