A reflection from Aphro....
I wonder how many of you watch the programme called A Yorkshire Farm? It’s about the life of shepherdess Amanda Owen, her husband Clive and their nine children (Yes I did say 9) on their sheep farm in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s a truly inspirational story that takes us through all the seasons showing us the beauty and the hardships of being a hill farmer and parents of a large family. All the children look after each other and share in all the joys and sorrows of life on the farm. The children, like the sheep are free to roam but when mum or dad calls they know it’s time to go in for tea, or to get ready for school or to help with chores. They hear the call and they respond.
Sometimes Amanda and Clive use quad bikes to get around the fields and moors, sometimes they walk. At lambing time they are outside at all times in all weathers looking for yews who might be in difficulty but otherwise allowing nature to take its course. Their sheep know them and trust them. Like the children they hear the voices of Amanda and Clive and they respond.
I see so many links between the Owens life and these two parables in John’s gospel and I could go on all day but I’ll try to stick to my 3 minutes.
The single point I want make today is this, if we hear Jesus’ voice, if we respond, if we walk through the gate of life into God’s presence we will have life and have it.to the full. In this very strange time when we all seem to be frantically filling our days with activity, when we may have become human doings and not human beings, let’s try once again to listen for and hear the voice of Jesus in the quiet of our hearts and find the hope, the rest and the peace that he offers us today in this pandemic and beyond into the future.
I am reminded of the words of a hymn, familiar from childhood.
I heard the voice of Jesus say ‘come unto me and rest
Lay down thou weary on, lay down, thy head upon my breast’.
I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad
I found in him a resting place, and he has made me glad.
May Christ the good shepherd enfold you with love, fill you with peace, and lead you in hope, to the end of your days; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.