This image is used by the Congregation of the Good Shepherd, Beijing.  

Goodness and mercy all my days, shall surely follow me… 

Dear God,
I am trying to write my sermon for Good Shepherd Sunday
and I keep singing Brother James’ Air
and in particular those lines about goodness and mercy.

The verb is apparently a really active one.
Not so much follow as pursue.
So I am thinking about what it means
that I am being pursued by goodness and mercy.
Chased down by goodness.

How am I resisting,
running away from your goodness?
Help me not to move so fast,
talk so fast,
hurt others so quickly,
that your mercy has to chase me down.

Thank you.

Thank you for being dogged
in your pursuit.
Thank you
for the goodness and mercy
that follows me,
indeed pursues me,
and all of us,
all the days of our life.

In the name of the Good Shepherd,


Jemma Allen is a priest in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.  Her ministry is currently both in a parish where she works with children and young people and as a counsellor and spiritual director in private practice.  She enjoyed her ministry  with the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Beijing, China and has the congregation’s shepherd on the wall beside her as she wrangles her sermon.  

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One thought on “Thursday Prayer: Pursued by Goodness

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