From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai
We all like sheep have gone astray!
Sheep are famous for being stupid! They are very cute – but not the brightest of beasts. I remember many years ago I was at a celebration of Assumption Day with some Turkish Syriac Christians way up in the mountains neat Antakya (Antioch). Two sheep had been brought to be barbecued – one was strung up and its throat was cut, but the other stood alongside munching grass as if nothing had occurred and it wasn’t in the least bit worried!
Sheep eat, and grow, and sleep, but don’t seem to worried about the future. I suppose as prey animals if they did worry then there would be no end to their worry! Last night, despite my increased garden defences, two street dogs again got into my garden. But when I found the rabbits in the hiding place they didn’t seem overly perturbed. They too seem very relaxed about the future – although they run faster than sheep!
The bible often compares God’s people to sheep – it is not a very complimentary description. Sheep get lost, go astray, and make some of the worst decisions. We often do all of those things. But the Bible also describes God as the shepherd and Jesus as the Good Shepherd who cares and searches for his sheep – who is even prepared to die for his sheep!
When I went out to do battle with the wild street dogs last night – armed only with an old broom – I wasn’t ready to lay down my life for my rabbits, and I was glad when the dogs scrambled back over the wall! But God is prepared to give all for us – and that is the good news of the Gospel!
Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, and Luke 15:1-10, and we will be singing the hymns The King of Love My Shepherd Is, O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go, Amazing Grace, and The Lord’s My Shepherd.
All Saints Chiang Mai Mission
All Saints Chiang Mai Mission is a UK charity set up to support the work of All Saints, Chiang Mai. After much hard work ASCMM now has a bank account which means that UK taxpayers can give through the charity and we can reclaim any income tax they have paid. If you would like to know more please speak to me or send an email to info@AllSaintsChiangMai.com
Most people get to hear about us via the internet or by word of mouth, so please feel free to pass on this email to others. All are welcome to join us as we share the presence of the risen Jesus in our lives! We hope to see you soon and that you will enjoy worshipping with us,