notre dame montreal

Jesus looks after the sheep

Family Service talk preached on the Fourth Sunday of Easter 2004,

by Mrs Claire Peck


Children’s Talk – Putnoe May 2nd 2004

And now listeners its time for the news from around your region. Today I went out on location to the oh so steep rock climbing areas of Bedfordshire to see some people in action. But don’t let me tell you all about it – two guests have come down from great heights into the studio to tell you all about their experience – please welcome Neil Bramble-Chapman and his wife Carolyn.


Interviewer: So Neil can you explain what your wife, Carolyn,
and you have done today?
Mr Bramble-Chapman: It’s all been terribly exciting. You see
I’m quite an experienced rock climber, been rock
climbing for years as you see from my kit! I’ve
obviously shown Carolyn the ropes (hold up ropes)
but up until fairly recently she’s not been very
interested. Today, however, was her first
proper climb after my expert coaching.
Interviewer: So Carolyn, you’ve decided to take up Neil’s
hobby too. Was the climb easy for you?
Carolyn: No, it was the scariest thing I’ve done in my life.
We were roped together but the worst bits were
when I couldn’t see him.
Interviewer: How did that make you feel?
Carolyn: I began to think that he wasn’t there.
Interviewer: So Neil, what did you do to help your wife?
Mr Bramble-Chapman: I kept on calling to her, to let her know
that I was there but most of all I hoped that she
trusted me enough to lead her to the top. She
did really well because she did just that.
Interviewer: So Carolyn you made it to the top. Well done.
Will you keep on rock climbing?
Carolyn: Definitely!
Interviewer: One last question Neil. Was it a case of when
you couldn’t see Carolyn going up the
rock face that you didn’t think about her?
Mr Bramble-Chapman: No it wasn’t like that at all. I was with
her every step of the way.
Interviewer: Thank you very much for coming into the studio.
A round of applause please for our oh so clever
rock climbers.

Rock climbing doesn’t appear in any of our readings from the Bible today but the message of the interview just held is similar to the message of the reading from John’s Gospel. Let’s just take another look at the reading. There were lots of people in a big building called a Temple, at a place called Jerusalem. They’d come for a special celebration and Jesus was there walking round ready to help anybody if they needed him. Some people there called Jewish leaders weren’t really sure whether Jesus was the Son of God so they asked him to tell them. Jesus told them that all the wonderful things that he did, like feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes and bringing people back to life, should be enough to prove to them that he was the Messiah, the Son of God.

He went on to tell them that the reason why they couldn’t believe in him was because they were not listening to him.
· Someone to come and find the picture of an ear in the box. A reminder that if we don’t listen to Jesus, just like the Jewish leaders didn’t, we will find it difficult to be able to believe in him.

He told them that if they listened to him then they would belong to him, like a sheep belongs to a shepherd.
· Someone to come and find sheep and shepherd picture. A reminder that just as a shepherd cares for his many sheep so too can Jesus take care of all of us.

Finally he told them that believing in him meant that they would always be safe in his hands.
· Someone to come and find picture of sheep in hand. A reminder that whatever is difficult for us, whatever makes us happy and whatever hurts us Jesus is there, holding us and protecting us.

Just like Carolyn, who on her rock climbing experience couldn’t always see Neil, her husband, but knew that he was there and trusted him to help her get to the top of the rock face, so too can we trust Jesus even though we can’t see him. He is with us and as we read stories about him from the Bible, sing songs about him, talk to him in prayer, look at the world around us and accept the love and help of our family and our friends we will be listening to his voice and be being kept safe in his hands always. Just as the sheep (get out the sheep) is looked after by the shepherd so too are we looked after because Jesus loves us and wants to care for us.