Ketton and Tinwell Benefice

St Mary's Church, Ketton and
All Saints' Church, Tinwell

Good Shepherd – Sunday 3rd May 2020 – Family Service

A Family Service of worship, prayer and a sermon about Jesus who said He was "the good shepherd". Many thanks to the young people of the parish who have contributed to this service.

Here are the pictures of sheep that have been contributed…

(The background music is “King of Love” by I am they, see end of blog post.)


HYMN  All people that on earth do dwell


Alleluia. Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed alleluia!

Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness, come into his presence with singing.

Know that the Lord is God!
It is he that made us and we are his.
We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.

For the Lord is good.
his faithful love will last foreverPsalm 100

Lord Jesus Christ,
risen from the dead and among us now,
make yourself known to us in our worship,
in the teaching of your word and in the fellowship of your people. Amen     


We come to God from whom no secrets are hidden,
and in sorrow for our sins,
to ask for forgiveness and peace.


Gracious God,
we pretend to be good when we are not …
How quick we are to find fault in others.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Merciful Lord,
we often turn our backs on those who need us.
How slow we are to do good.
Christ, have mercy. 
Christ have mercy.

Holy God,
we often place our needs and desires
above everything else. 
How reluctant we are to seek your will.
Lord, have mercy. 
Lord, have mercy

The minister declares God’s forgiveness

May the God of love bring us back to himself,
forgive us our sins
and assure us of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Risen Christ,
faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep:
teach us to hear your voice
and follow your command,
that all your people may be gathered in one flock,
to the glory of God, the Father.

FIRST READING: Psalm 23 (The Message) Read by……

HYMN  The Lord’s My shepherd, I will trust in you alone

BIBLE READING: John 10: 1-10  Read by Flora

 Psalm 23 from The Message

God, my shepherd!
    I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
    my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

John 10:1-10 New Living Translation. Read by Gus

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.


This is the day when talk about Jesus as the good shepherd.

After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

When we’re born the first thing that we recognise about another person is their voice. A baby learns to recognise Mum’s voice or Dad’s voice – perhaps even in the womb. We’re tuned up to voices. You know all the voices of the people who live in your house or who belong to your family and loads of others too. You don’t have to see them. You know it’s your friend or your gran on the phone because you know their voice. 

This is the day when we talk about Jesus as the good shepherd. And I’m sure you’ve heard this before – but being a shepherd in desert in the time that Jesus lived was very different to being a shepherd today. Nowadays, maybe in a place like Dartmoor or some other wide-open space where the sheep roam all over the place and when you want to count them or move them or check on them you round the sheep up with a sheep dog and a Landrover.

Back then in Judea the shepherd stayed with the sheep all the time. The shepherd led his sheep from place to place to find grass and water and they followed him. He even damned streams to make pools for them to drink.

The shepherd protected the sheep from wolves and lions and other attackers during the day and at night he penned in his sheep – often along with other flocks of sheep to keep them safe and then he and the other shepherds slept across the door of the pen- the sheep fold. 

The reason the sheep followed the shepherd and stayed with him was because they learnt to know his voice and trusted that he would keep them safe.

The shepherd knew his sheep – each one of them – and they knew him – and the key to this relationship was the voice. He could call them out of the greater flock and they would come – they knew his voice, they knew their own shepherd – so they followed him, they stuck with him.

Our dog is a bit like that. Mizzie. She likes human company and she has decided that I’m like her shepherd. She follows me around; she knows my voice and wants to be with me all the time!

When Jesus tells the story about the Good Shepherd – he is speaking to the leaders of the temple – the pharisees. They are angry with him because he gave a blind man his sight back. He is saying to them.

You don’t know me – but there are those who do. You don’t recognise me but there are those that do. They know me like sheep know their shepherd and I know them like a shepherd knows his sheep. 

I have a special relationship with my followers. They can hear my voice and they will respond. They come when I call. They know I come from God.  They know it because they believe in me. You question it because you don’t believe in me.

We can all enter into that special relationship with Jesus. To hear Jesus’ particular and distinctive voice which calls each one of us by name – and to respond.

This isn’t easy. There are lots of voices in our world which can drown out Jesus’ voice.

 Voices which want to sell us things. Voices asking us to support them to win an election Voices telling us what to think about the economy or politics and now the virus too.

And in our lives there the everyday voices of the people we know.  Family, friends and teachers, people at work. Voices which are loving, voices which are demanding, voices which make us feel good, voices which criticise, voices which promise power or position, voices which keep us in our place.  We also have voices in our heads. The voices which give us messages about who we are and how we’re doing, sometimes those voices don’t say good things

So, what makes Jesus’ voice stand out?

The first thing to say is that Jesus’ voice always accepts us.  Whoever we are and however we come to Jesus he welcomes us.

In my Bible the words Jesus says are printed in red. The first words he speaks in John’s Gospel are – ‘What do you want? And then in the next verse ‘Come and see’. Jesus is always asking us – what is that you want? And always inviting us to come and see.

Jesus’ voice is also a voice of healing – he says to the sick ‘be healed of your disease’ and it is a voice of forgiveness ‘your sins are forgiven’. It is kind and compassionate – to the widow of Nain who is burying her son he says ‘don’t cry’ and to the boy on the bier  ’young man I say to you get up!’ 

Jesus voice stands for truth -and won’t accept deceit – that’s why he argues with the pharisees – Jesus says ‘for judgement I have come into the world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.’ And the Pharisees don’t like it ..are we blind? They ask him..

His is a voice which will challenge. Jesus’ very statement – I am the good Shepherd is an affront to the Pharisees. He is challenging their role as leaders of the people – he is saying to them  – who is the real shepherd here who is leading people to God?  

Jesus voice is the voice of God. I and the Father are one says Jesus. That is the quality of the voice of Christ – it comes from God. Welcome, acceptance, healing, compassion, truth, justice. The distinctive voice of Christ- the very voice of God. Listen to that voice as you read the stories about Jesus in the gospels – that will help you pick it out.

We need to ask ourselves – what voices are we following? Whose voices are influencing us – and what do they say?

Are our lives being shaped by the voices of prejudice or tradition or a fear of change or on how things have always been done?

Are our lives being lived out dictated by inner voices which limit and distort who we are?

It is hard to hear the voice of Jesus if we have never heard it before- we assume that truth comes from somewhere else – anywhere else sometimes. Yet if we have been a church goer for years it is equally easy to assume that we know what Jesus says and stop listening and start listening to other voices instead.

There is a life changing quality in the voice of Christ – that will make us turn and follow him. Listen for it. We need to train our ears to pick it out.  My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me.


We declare our faith..

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
the one for whom we exist?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son, 
who took our human nature,
died for us and rose again?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God
and makes Christ known in the world?
We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith.
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.     Amen.

Will you come and follow me

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION Prayers © Jane Hulme 2017

You are the good shepherd.
Help us to listen to and follow you  

Thank you, Lord, that you are our good shepherd.
Thank you that you give us everything that we need.
Help us to share your good gifts with others,
and please provide for those who have little to eat today.
You are the good shepherd.
Help us to listen to and follow you

Thank you, Lord, that you guide us each day.
Thank you that you never leave our side.
Guide the leaders in our country to make wise decisions,
and comfort those who are going through difficult times.
You are the good shepherd.
Help us to listen to and follow you

Thank you, Lord, that you keep us safe from the evil one.
Thank you that you are the One who heals us.
Bring healing to those who are unwell today,
especially those suffering from the coronavirus
 and help them to know your love.
You are the good shepherd.
Help us to listen to and follow you

Thank you, Lord, that you never stop loving us.
Thank you that we can look forward to being with you forever.
Strengthen your church that we might show your love to those around us,
 and keep our eyes fixed on you.
You are the good shepherd.
Help us to listen to and follow you Amen.


We pray as Jesus taught us..

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;  thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,  as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.  Amen.


Heavenly Father,
we thank you for our friends, homes and families.
We ask that your love may surround us,
your care may protect us,
and that we may know your peace at all times.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn  I will sing the wondrous story


The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
make you perfect in every good work to do his will;
and the blessing of God Almighty the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be with you and among you now and always…

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
In the name of Christ


Music:  The king of love my shepherd is – played by the group ‘I Am They’
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