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Between Sundays for Week of May 1, 2023

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is always Good Shepherd Sunday. But in John 10:1-10, instead of talking about himself as a good shepherd, Jesus says, “I am the gate for the sheep.” In Sunday’s message, Pastor Amy invites us to consider what it would mean to think of Jesus as a gate or a door and ended with the end of this poem of blessing from Jan Richardson. As you find yourselves pressing on doors this week, carry these words as a reminder of the realm that Jesus, the gate, longs for you to know.


Press your hand

to this blessing,

here along

the side

where you can feel

its seam.

Follow the seam

and you will find

the hinges

on which

this blessing turns.

Feel how

your fingers

catch on them—



the slightest pressure

sending the gate

gliding open

in a glad welcome.

Wait, did I say

press your hand

to this blessing?

What I meant was

press your hand

to your heart.

*Rest it over that

place in your chest

that has grown

closed and tight,

where the rust,

with its talent

for making decay

look artful,

has bitten into

what you once

held dear.

Breathe deep.

Press on the knot

and feel how it

begins to give way,

turning upon

the hinge

of your heart.

Notice how it

opens wide

and wider still

as you exhale,

spilling you out

into a realm

where you never dreamed

to go

but cannot now imagine

living this life


—Jan Richardson

from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

*Amy began the reading here.

Thanks to be God!  Alleluia! Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed, alleluia!

The Word Logo

We often think of Jesus as a Good Shepherd, but Jesus also teaches his followers to think of himself as a gate or a door. A door that opens to abundant life. Amy invites us to wonder: what abundance does Jesus want to open for you?


Psalm 23 is one of the beloved texts of Scripture (we sang and heard different arrangements of it in worship on Sunday). Bobby McFerrin (of Don’t Worry, Be Happy fame) composed a stunning and simple arrangement of this psalm that you can view on YouTube. In his setting, McFerrin imagines the Good Shepherd in feminine terms.