May 8: The Fourth Sunday of Easter

The Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews is the vicar of St. Hilda St. Patrick. The sermon for Sunday, May 8, 2022, was preached as a response to the appointed texts for the day based on the notes below.

  • Easter troparion
  • “My shepherd will supply my need” “The king of love my shepherd is” “Shepherd of souls supply my need” The Vicar of Dibley theme song. 
  • Psalm 23 saturates the lives around us
  • Even people who aren’t religious choose it for funerals for their loved ones, for those baptismal liturgies, those easter liturgies that we celebrate at the end of life. 
  • The text itself is comforting, that God will take care of us.
  • Easter troparion
  • Good Shepherd Sunday comes after a very rough week ? COVID is still a thing, though we’re assessing personal risks; the war in Ukraine is underway, still
  • The Supreme Court appears ready to completely overturn Roe which is just as much about women’s self governance and bodily life as abortions themselves, especially people whose whole lives may be totally upended by having to carry a pregnancy to term
  • There’s a lot to feel down about, feeling pressed and stressed and under pressure
  • Still we’re here together proclaiming the easter troparion and sharing in Jesus’ resurrection when we share in bread and wine and get splashed in the waters of death and resurrection
  • We aren’t Polyanna, and we don’t bury our heads in the sand. We feel the hurt, confusion, disappointment, and uncertainty ? “I would like to live in precedented times again”
  • Jesus is the good shepherd, and John gives us comfort in that fact today, the way the psalmist does every year and at so many funerals
  • Jesus is the good shepherd who knows his flock and whose flock knows him, the good shepherd who bears the flock’s burdens
  • Even in our uncertainty and no easy answers Easter troparion. Especially we proclaim that in our uncertainty knowing that there aren’t easy answers.
  • It’s not a cop out is a settling into a deeper place of hope deeper than the cares and occupations and changes and chances, that our shepherd will supply our need, and Jesus our shepherd is with us, supporting us to do the work we have been given to do

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