The lessons for the Fourth Sunday of Easter present Jesus as the Good Shepherd of Israel. I have always been captured by this imagery and particularly enjoy the years when the RCL places these lessons in the context of Christ the King Sunday.
I am not one to hastily (or carelessly) re-write liturgy but the lessons are so strong that I have taken this opportunity to pen an alternative Proper Preface for the Eucharist. I submit this to you for your consideration, use and distribution as you see fit. The content is a combination of John 10, Psalm 23 and Ezekiel 34 and it was composed using the skeleton of the Proper Preface for Eastertide.
But chiefly are we bound to praise you for our Shepherd-King; for your Son Jesus Christ is both the true Paschal Lamb and the true Shepherd of Israel who has bound up the injured, healed the sick, strengthened the weak, sought out the lost, and brought back the strays. May we hear and recognize his voice for by laying down his life and taking it up again we are able to have abundant life both now and in the future.