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Minister's letter for 21 April

Dear Friends,

Just something to ponder over: in the Bible study group at Upton we talked about John 10:11-18 – "I am the Good Shepherd". God being described and referred to as shepherd is a consistent one throughout scripture. The qualities of protector, leading to the best sources of food and rest and absolute care for the flock being ones that are conveyed. Jesus was following in the tradition and yet through describing himself as 'I am' (Jesus does this seven times in John's gospel with seven different images) Jesus is equating himself with God rather than solely reflecting God's character.A bold claim that would lead to confusion and misunderstanding for many but for some it would cause anger and rejection.

But Jesus was using a job that would have been well-known and understood by all. Interestingly a job that required people to work on the margins of society, literally and socially – not one that is often associated with power and influence.

In our conversations we began to think about other roles in today's society that may offer a similar image and understanding of God's character.

So I leave you with this to also ponder, what other roles or jobs that are familiar to us today could convey who God is... "I am the Good....?"

I notice that this Sunday will be the London Marathon where so many participants are raising much needed funds for many different charities. On 22nd April it is Earth Day, designed to focus our attention on creation and our stewardship of it and on the same day is Stephen Lawrence Day, whose tragic murder nearly 30 years ago and the subsequent mishandled investigation brought to light the systemic racism within the Metropolitan Police. But it also showed that they were not the only organisation to carry this.

So let us remember in our prayers those who serve others, through fundraising and raising the profile of different needs and those who persevere in seeking justice and using their voice when others have been silenced or ignored. And we pray for our impact on creation and how we can be the best stewards that we can be.

Every blessing,
Rev Karen

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