After Psalm 80 and other Bible passages

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.

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.

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.

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)