After Psalm 80 and other Bible passages

1 Exalted God, our shepherd,
in troubled times gone by
your wayward people begged you
to hear their desperate cry;
although they had displeased you
and caused you to withdraw,
they longed for you to heal them
and shine your light once more.

2 When first your vine was planted
its fruit was sweet to taste;
but soon the stems lay withered,
the roots reduced to waste:
from these, your ruined people,
emerged a faint refrain -
their plaintive prayer for freedom
to live and thrive again.

3 So many in past ages
have strayed from you, their God:
they scorned your staff of comfort,
your strong, protecting rod.
Yet still you sent them prophets
to guide them back to you -
the sheep so often faithless,
the Shepherd always true.

4 Today when trials beset us
and faith is in decline,
may Jesus be our Shepherd,
the one authentic Vine;
and let your Spirit fill us
with joy of sins forgiven
and light to shine unfading
along our path to heaven.

Emma Turl
© Emma Turl, admin. The Jubilate Group
Metre / Suggested tune: 7 6 7 6 D / AURELIA; POTTERNE (John Barnard)