Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 30 April (Easter 4, Year A)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, 30 April 2023 (Year A), including a reflection on John 10.1-10


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

In your resurrection, O Christ,
let heaven and earth rejoice. Alleluia.

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As once you ransomed your people from Egypt
and led them to freedom in the promised land,
so now you have delivered us from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your risen Son.
May we, the first fruits of your new creation,
rejoice in this new day you have made,
and praise you for your mighty acts.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

John 10.1-10

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought  out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’


Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘… anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit.’

We all do it! We know the rules and procedures but, if we see those rules and procedures as being inconvenient, we look for a different, an easier way. As humanity and civilisations have evolved over many thousands of years, so systems of rules and procedures have evolved. If we stop to think we know that these codes of practice, which we might call laws, have been codified for the benefit of society at large. Throughout scripture we see the lives of human beings being regulated, first by God and then by those who become our leaders. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given an instruction, but the temptation to break that one simple instruction proved too strong. Later we read of the giving of the ten commandments. Then, time and time again we read of God’s displeasure and dismay at humanity’s inability to remain faithful to his law, to his plan for us to achieve the maximum benefit from this life in order that we might enter into an eternal relationship with him in the eternity that follows our short mortal existence.

The challenge in today’s reading comes from Jesus to the Pharisees, those experts in Jewish tradition who were most frightened by Jesus’ earthly mission and ministry. Jesus warns the Pharisees, just as he is warning us, that we should not try to find a different, an easier way around. The path of the true Christian is not easy. That path is narrow and makes many self-sacrificial demands. That path invites us to remain steadfast as we journey on in faith; it invites us to set self to one side in order that we might help those who are struggling. 

But, are we strong enough to heed Jesus’ words? Can we set aside our instinct to seek the short-cut that will make the journey easier? Are we determined in our faith in order that we might heed Jesus’ words and not put ourselves in the company of the thief and the bandit who will not be saved?


To Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
and who now lives in the glory of the Father,
let us lift our voices in praise, saying:
risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

Lord Jesus, you are the Amen, the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You are Alpha and Omega,
the one who is, and was, and who is to come:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You search into the thoughts and affections of all people:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You reprove and chasten those whom you love:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You open the eyes of the blind
and set the prisoners free:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

In your paschal victory,
you have proclaimed the coming of the kingdom:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make us perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.