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Shepherd appears to be a favored occupation in the Bible. Abraham, Jacob, Esau, and Amos were all shepherds. Moses became one while on the run. David was a singing shepherd before he became king. And then we recall the Bethlehem shepherds, the first to hear the news about Jesus’ birth....

God, thank you for Jesus’ sacrifice, that I may be in relationship with you. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
April 16–22, 2018
Scripture Overview

This week’s readings open with a confrontation in Acts between Peter and John and some of the religious leaders. Peter speaks in harsh terms to the leaders, stating that they had killed Jesus; yet by the power of Jesus’ name, a man who could not walk has been healed. By that same name spiritual healing happens as well. The other three passages employ the metaphor of the Good Shepherd. “The Lord is my shepherd,” the psalmist declares, and the shepherd cares for all our needs. In John’s Gospel, Jesus declares that he is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. First John repeats this imagery. Jesus proved his love when he lay down his life for us. If we truly love one another, we also ought to sacrifice in tangible ways.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Psalm 23. How comfortable do you feel about God’s provision for your life? Do you believe you have enough?
• Read Acts 4:5-12. When have you gotten into difficulty for exercising your Christian faith and values? If never, why not?
• Read 1 John 3:16-24. The writer notes that we may find being called sheep unbecoming. He goes on to mention that the epistle of John addresses followers of Christ as “little children.” Would you prefer to be a sheep or a child? Why?
• Read John 10:11-18. Which of your assumptions about God have been turned upside down? How did this come about?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Loving the Insights

"I lead a small group of about 12 women, and we were looking for a great Advent study. I had used While We Wait years ago and remembered how beautifully written it was.

I love focusing on the women in the genealogy in Matthew and our church’s Advent sermon series include the songs of Elizabeth, Mary, and Zechariah. So this study seemed just perfect for our 2019 Advent study.

Everyone is enjoying it so much and loving the insights that Mary Lou Redding offers for each character in her study. While We Wait has been a great study for us!"