Easter Four, Year A

Musical Reflection
The Lamb by Dessa


Life abundant,
God of grace,
you call us by name
to live without fear:
in peace may we resist
all who kill and despoil your people,
that their hearts might be turned
to the source of life;
through Jesus Christ, the gateway.
First Reading

by Jo Shapcott

In reality, sheep are brave, enlightened
and sassy. They are walking clouds
and like clouds have forgotten
how to jump. As lambs they knew.
Lambs jump because in their innocence
they still find grass exciting.
Some turf is better for tiptoeing
say the lambs. Springy meadows
have curves which invite fits
of bouncing and heel-kicking
to turn flocks of lambs
into demented white spuds boiling in the pot.
Then there is a French style of being a lamb
which involves show and a special touch
at angling the bucking legs. Watch carefully
next time: Lambs love to demonstrate –
you won’t have to inveigle.
Eventually, of course, lambs grow trousers
and a blast of wool
which keeps them anchored to the sward.
Then grass is first and foremost
savoury, not palpable.
I prefer the grown sheep: even when damp
she is brave, enlightened and sassy,
her eye a kaleidoscope of hail and farewell,
her tail a most eloquent organ of gesture.
When she speaks, it is to tell me
that she is under a spell, polluted.
Her footwear has been stolen
and the earth rots her feet.
In reality she walks across the sky
upside down in special pumps.

Second Reading
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the Rocks,
Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow Rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing Madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of Roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty Lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and Ivy buds,
With Coral clasps and Amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

Gospel Reading
John 10:1-10

“The truth of the matter is, whoever doesn’t enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep, the one for whom the keeper opens the gate. The sheep know the shepherd’s voice; the shepherd calls them by name and leads them out. Having led them all out of the fold, the shepherd walks in front of them and they follow because they recognize the shepherd’s voice. They simply won’t follow strangers – they’ll flee from them because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”

Even though Jesus used this metaphor with them, they didn’t grasp what he was trying to tell them. He therefore said to them again:

“The truth of the matter is, I am the sheep gate. All who came before me were thieves and marauders whom the sheep didn’t heed. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be safe – you’ll go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy. I came that you might have life and have it to the full.”

Musical Reflection

Wolf by First Aid Kit

The Duke’s Prayer
by Duke Ellington



The Lord’s Prayer

God in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right; Do what’s best —
As above, so below.
Keep us alive.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.


Musical Reflection
The Wolf Song by Emiliana Torrini

The Stranger’s Blessing

The Sacred Three be blessing us,
our tables and their stores.
The Sacred Three be blessing
all our loved ones evermore.

May the blessing of God – the Author, the Messenger, and the Word,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.


Artwork by Fede Ruiz Santesteban

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection The Lamb by Dessa

Poem Lies by Jo Shapcott

Poem The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlowe

Musical Reflection Wolf by First Aid Kit

Prayer by Duke Ellington

Lord’s Prayer from the Message, adapted

Musical Reflection The Wolf Song by Emiliana Torrini

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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