“…and we are the people of his pasture”

Remembering that we are the people of God is part of our summons to joy.  It is not only about looking back to the past.  We are also calling to mind the present day.  We bring into our minds the people of God of which we are part: the church throughout the world.

Throughout the whole cycle of day and night, God is praised all over the earth by those who are his people, by our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Through his death and resurrection, Christ has created a new people drawn from every race and people.  Christ has created one people in whether there are no divisions of race or gender. Christ has drawn to himself one people, the destiny of creation.

I may come to worship today cast down, or confused, praying on my own and facing immense pressures.  But I come to worship today, as well, as part of the people of God stretching all around the earth: Roman Catholic and Orthodox, Protestant and Pentecostals and everything in between.  I have Anglican sisters and brothers in every part of the world.  For many of my sisters and brothers, life will be very difficult today.  Some will be persecuted for their faith.  Others are living in great poverty and need.  We are one family.

Even the people of God in this Diocese of Sheffield is greater than I can hold in my mind at one time.  There are Christians living our their discipleship today in Doncaster, in Rotherham, in Goole, in Barnsley, in every part of the city of Sheffield.: teachers, medics, administrators, shop workers, students. There may only be one or two in a workplace or a council chamber.

There may only be a small number gathered in some places on Sunday morning.  But together we are salt scattered through the life of this region.  Together we are light, seeking to reflect the way of Christ to those around us.  Together we are part of the people of God, holding to the faith of Jesus Christ, all across the earth.

Our greatness and confidence does not rest on our numbers or our goodness.  As we will see in the next verses, we are not perfect people.  Our confidence rests in the truth that God has called us, the LORD is our shepherd, the LORD walks with us and before us and behind us, today and every day:

“ we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand”

This post is one of a series of daily reflections on Psalm 95 in January, at the start of the Diocese of Sheffield Centenary Year

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