Pastoral Message for the Fourth Sunday of Easter - May 3, 2020

Pastoral Message
(for members and friends of)
Geeseytown & Newry Lutheran Churches
Jesus Christ the shepherd
May 3, 2020
We begin by remembering:
“I am the gate. Who ever enters by me will be saved and will come in and
go out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
Let us pray:
O God our shepherd, you know your sheep by name and lead us to safety
through the valleys of death. Guide us by your voice, that we may walk in
certainty and security to the joyous feast prepared in your house, through Jesus
Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one
God, now and forever.
Scripture Readings: Psalm 23 & John 10:1-10
Thoughts from the Pastor:
When I first thought about the 23rd Psalm, this famous psalm showed us
why our Lord Jesus Christ called believers, “My Sheep.” And the answer to why is
because He died for them on the cross. Still, when we think about His sacrifice for
us, we can see that it is much more than just those who believe in Him as their
savior. It was for the whole world. The psalmist words in verse one, “The Lord is
my shepherd, I shall not want” shows us a very important fact about Jesus and
God. Jesus and God are adequate for every need the sheep may have as they are
in the pasture. One way of looking at the pasture is the fellowship and
relationships we have in our churches through our faith in Jesus Christ and the
love we have for one another. We are all baptized citizens of heaven and have
been blessed to be part of the Kingdom of God.
As I commented about Jesus and God caring for “every need the sheep may
have” shows us that Jesus and God provide food, water and other substances to
care for us. Even when we are weary, bruised, cut or sick Jesus is here. Today, He
is with those suffering from the coronavirus throughout the world. He knows
what is going on in our lives. Why because He loves us. Through His love for us we
have an ongoing relationship with Him. Jesus guards us His sheep every day.
Looking at verse four in this psalm which some biblical scholars claim is the
central verse of this psalm, we see David not speaking about the shepherd, but
speaking to the shepherd. In other words, David is speaking to God about walking
through the valley of the shadow of death. As I further thought about what David
is concerned about, it is more than the valley of the shadow of death, and I say
this because he knows he has nothing to worry or fear about. In verse four where
it says, “I will fear no evil, ‘For you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they
comfort me,” this shows us that God is not before us but beside us, leading the
way and calming our fears.
Recently, a friend of our family, Terry was diagnosed with lung cancer. He is
doing well going through chemotherapy; however, before they discovered that he
had lung cancer Terry thought he was suffering from pneumonia, and he went to
a hospital where they discovered lung cancer. Now here we see how God is not
before us but beside us in many ways. While Terry was in the hospital the doctors
told him that they needed to operate on his lungs. God was also beside Terry
when they operated on his lungs removing part of one his lungs. My friends, as I
think about how God works in our lives, we can see how God never leaves us
alone. And again, it is because of God’s immerse love for us.
All us at one time or another have been confronted with illnesses in our
families, with our friends, and neighbors. We don’t need to worry because God is
with them and taking care of them. We also see this in our John 10:1-10. Jesus has
already opened the gate for us, his sheep. Martin Luther taught us that we are
saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. When Jesus came into this world, he
spoke God’s Word, and the sheep (us) we know His word and we need not be
afraid. Jesus, our true shepherd will love us and care for us. We are those who
have trusted in Jesus Christ are a part of God’s flock.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Dick Henry

Geeseytown / Newry Lutheran Parish

info@GNLutheran.org

Newry Lutheran Church

1030 Shamrock Lane

PO Box 397

Newry, PA 16665

P: 814-695-3036

 
 

Geeseytown Lutheran Church

462 Route 22

Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

P: 814-696-0743

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