Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 9th May 2022: The Lord's my shepherd

Sheep Jesus Shepherd John 10

Reading : Verses from John, Chapter 10

Jesus and sheep

‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Those who don't go to church, but hold onto a vestige of their faith, have a problem when they ask the 'Vicar' to conduct a wedding, or a baptism, or a funeral. What shall they sing? Now hymns and christian songs come and go, and only a few remain in the memory of those who left school many years ago. So after almost 40 years of being told what families would like to sing at their special service I am not surprised when they ask for 'The Lord's my shepherd', or 'Crimond' which is the tune often associated with these words. Myself, I love the words of this hymn, particularly the verse that goes 'Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale, yet will I fear no ill, for thou art with me....', but I have a great fondness for 'Loving shepherd of thy sheep' with its emphasis on the fact that Jesus gave His life that we might live; and also 'The King of love my shepherd is' that reminds me of the parable of the lost sheep with its words 'Perverse and foolish oft I strayed but yet in love me sought me, and on his shoulder gently laid, and home, rejoicing, brought me.' But my all time favourite is 'There were ninety and nine that safely lay' - the old gospel hymn for the same parable.

When we feel alone, or lost, or unhappy these hymns do much to comfort us, and remind us that as God's sheep He is always in charge and will bring us home to Him at the last.


Lord Jesus,
You taught us that You were the Shepherd,
and that we were Your sheep;
that You will protect us;
guide us;
feed us;
care for us;
and bring us home in the end.
May we trust in You,
and listen to You this day.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to listen to these hymns, or sing along to them:

  • The choir of Winchester cathedral sing 'The Lord's my shepherd' (Crimond)
  • Chet Valley Churches sing 'Loving shepherd of thy sheep' (Buckland)
  • Collegium Regale Music produce 'The King of love my shepherd is' (Dominus Regit Me)
  • Michael Eldridge sings all four parts of 'There were ninety and nine' (Clephane)
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