“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
Father I declare:
The Lord is my shepherd,
Hear our nagging prayer for your justice.
Lord Jesus, you forgave, cleansed, healed and fed.
your leadership still restores all who are vulnerable and marginalised and without resources for life.
We pray boldly for the common good of your justice:
dignity for children,
safety for families,
homes for the homeless,
schools for all learners,
health care for the poor,
food for the needy,
respect for the abused . . . women and children,
compassion for men wearied too long,
access for the disabled…
[pause and wait in God’s presence]
May this justice be seen in your people, your church,
May this justice transform our communities and people’s lives.
Renew us by your Holy Spirit,
that I may lay down my life for you and for my neighbour
and proclaim your love
through Jesus Christ, the good Shepherd. Amen.
written by Fyfe Blair