I was leading the service at the church I attend again today. It’s something that always takes preparation and I’d had a couple of attempts at the preparation before having something I was happy with. As others have said, it takes a lot of practice to come across naturally when you are standing in front of people. The sermon was on ‘The Good Shepherd’. Not to be confused with Psalm 23 this was the passage in John 10. An illustration used about the type of shepherd really struck home. Unlike most shepherds today where they move the sheep from field to field from the rear of the flock, in Jesus’ time, the sheep would follow the shepherd. They would recognise his voice and follow and trust it. It was a reminder that it is a willing following that takes place, not a forced persuading. It also left me wondering about how much else we misunderstand because of the ‘modern’ eyes we see things through. (PS, I know the picture is not that of a shepherds crook but it’s the closest thing I have that is shaped like one!)
It’s always nice to be followed and I’m grateful for the people who follow me on this and find some of what I say either interesting or entertaining. On today’s long walk I collected some extra followers, though I suspect they won’t be logging on to follow the blog. They were at the end of the field I was walking through and I took a looping route to avoid walking through the middle of them. On going past one decided to start following me (possibly it had picked up on the chocolate bar in my rucksack), but that quickly became the whole group. The style wasn’t far away and I’ve been followed by cows in the past (even nudged by them trying to access my rucksack, again I suspect for the food in there) and know that generally they won’t cause trouble. Once I was over the style they stood there and complained a little at not being fed. I however would be within about an hour of having acquired my new fan club.