Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 4/22

Good Shepherd by Ilse Kleyn

I was searching for art for Good Shepherd Sunday and came across this contemporary work by Ilse Kleyn.  My first thought was of a FaceBook friend who regularly posts photos of himself and his young son.  It's clear from his posts that Greg is shepherding his boy through the early years of life with love, devotion, strength, protection - and pure joy: a good shepherd!  I then began to think of the many "good shepherds" in all our lives who guide us and guard us, who keep us safe and on the right path.  Thus, today's Pause for Prayer on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday...

Good Shepherd of us all,
I thank you today for all the good shepherds in my life
and for all the ways you've shepherded me
through their love, their watchful presence,
their devotion and protection...

I thank you for my parents, my first shepherds;
I thank you for their protection, for the shelter of their love,
and for all they sacrificed for me
to help me grow...

I thank you for other shepherds in my family
and for all my friends
who comfort and challenge me,
who dry my tears and make me laugh,
who stay faithfully close by my side...

I thank you for all the shepherds
who taught me in school,
who counseled and directed me,
who shaped me and helped me to become
the person I am today...

I thank you for shepherds
whose names I don't know, who stand in harm's way
'round my town and 'round the world,
keeping vigil through the night to keep me safe,
standing guard that I might sleep without a worry...

I thank you for the shepherds you've called home,
especially those gone much too soon,
whose gentle shepherd's crook I miss,
whose presence still abides within my heart...

I thank you for those shepherds
who remember me in prayer,
who keep me in the sheepfold of your grace,
lifting up my name and needs to you:
to you, my good and gentle Shepherd,
Good Shepherd of us all...


The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need,
He makes me lie down in green meadows,
Beside the still waters he will lead.

He restores my soul, he rights my wrongs,
He leads me in a path of good things,
And fills my heart with song.

Even though I walk through a dark and dreary land,
There is nothing that can shake me,
He has said he won't forsake me,
I'm in his hand.

He sets a table before me in the presence of my foe,
He anoints my head with oil,
And my cup overflows.

Surely, surely goodness and kindness will follow me,
All the days of my life,
And I will live in his house,
Forever, forever and ever.

Glory be to our Father, and Brother,
And to the Holy of Holies,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
Life, without end.  Amen.


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