Freedom for Palestine

Good Shepherding

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

Greetings, Fighter,

It’s Shepherding Sunday again this weekend – that day when we sing everybody’s favourite Psalm. Even those of us who know nothing about sheep or shepherding can manage to bleat out a verse of ”The Lord’s my shepherd”, so let’s take a moment to reflect on what we’re singing about.

In the Hebrew Bible, shepherding is a metaphor for leadership.  King David was described as a ‘shepherd of integrity’ (Psalm 78:72). Other rulers were condemned as bad shepherds.

“Should not shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the choice animals, but you do not feed the sheep!” (Ezekiel 34:2-3).

Jesus’ declaration that He is the ‘good shepherd’ arises directly out of an argument He was having with a group of religious leaders. He started by suggesting that they were blind (John 9:39-42) and then depicted them as ‘hired hands’ who, in contrast to the good shepherd, have no real interest in the sheep.

“The hired hand, who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and runs away.” (John 10:12)

The sheep can tell who their real shepherd is. They recognise their shepherd’s voice, just as boxers recognise the voice of their corner, even in the fury of battle. They follow the direction of their shepherd because they know that good shepherds put their bodies between them and their predators. ”The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

It’s about leadership.

I was listening to a statement recorded by Bishop Mari Emmanuel last night – the Assyrian Orthodox priest who was stabbed five times during a worship service in Sydney last Monday night. I heard Bishop Mari saying that he was recovering well and that he forgave the guy who stabbed him and was praying for him. I thought, ‘I recognise that voice’. It’s the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Yes, it’s Shepherding Sunday again, and I know nothing about sheep. Even so, I know how to recognise the voice of the Good Shepherd. Listen closely and you’ll recognise it too.

There are plenty of predators out there, and there are plenty of hired hands out there too who will throw you to the wolves rather than risk any damage to themselves. Listen to the voices of our political leaders. Listen to the voices of our religious leaders. Good shepherds can be hard to find, but when you find one, you’ll know it.

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” (John 10:14)

Our Sunday Eucharist

We had another wonderful Sunday Eucharist last weekend. While I had hoped to have four of us on the panel, it was just Father Mark and myself to begin with. Inevitably, our discussion focused on the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

I learnt a lot, not only from Mark but equally from other members of our online community such as Diane and Karyn and Wade. At the 13-minute mark we were joined by Rev. John Jegasothy who, it turned out, had had to rush to his son’s place. His daughter-in-law had gone into labor! Both mother and child are now doing well. Congratulations! 😊❤️

I’m very much looking forward to this Sunday’s gathering. I hope to have Andew Logan and Karyn with me on the panel, and Father Ola contributing his pre-recorded thoughts on the 23rd Pslam from Sweden. Join us from midday if you think you can.

You’ll find us at and on Facebook, YouTube, TwitterLinkedInor and Streamyard. I look forward to sharing this Eucharist with you. 😊

Let me work your corner

If you’d like to see my work continue, please click here to make a one-off donation, If you can afford a monthly contribution, sign up at Patreon.comand choose either:

Middleweight – $10/month (community mentoring)

  • Enrol in the Fighting Fit training program
  • Access member-only training videos
  • Publish to the members-only blog
  • Get free access to silver level membership at

Super-Middleweight $50/month (remote mentoring)

  • All of the above +
  • One-on-one mentoring via email, phone, or Skype

Heavyweight – $100/month (in-person mentoring)

Superheavyweight – $200/month (intensive in-person mentoring)

Every dollar helps keep the wheels turning – the websites, the newsletters, the broadcasts, the boxing club and the bush camp. Of course, it’s not a one-way process. I will support you in return, so please fill out the Physical and Spiritual Fitness Assessment form and get it back to me, and then sign up at

What’s On?

I wish I had some rallies supporting Gaza in this week’s diary. The need to raise our voices in protest has never been greater. My personal efforts to forestall World War III this week have been focused on publishing ‘shorts’ from our recent Palestine and Global Peace webinar. Indeed, I put around 20 hours work into the six shorts listed below. With your help, some of these could go viral and make a real difference.

For those who don’t know what ‘shorts’ are (or ‘reels’, as they’re called on Facebook), here’s an example, taken from the list above.

Shorts are video clips that are less than one minute long and are designed to be watched on a mobile phone. They tend to include captions and a soundtrack.

I am no expert at creating shorts, which is probably why it takes me so long to produce them. Even so, I am finding that they are getting at least ten times the number of views as my regular videos. Indeed, most of the shorts listed above received more than a thousand views each within 24 hours of being posted.

Do me a favour please. If you think these shorts are of value, share them. The links above are to YouTube but you’ll find the same shorts on my other social media channels – on FacebookTwitterLinkedInTikTok and Telegram.  If we can spread the wisdom of Bishop Riah and Doctors Muzaffar and Sizer to millions, rather than to thousands, perhaps we can make a real impact.

As ever, I continue to thank Father Mark for keeping us up to date on Israel and Palestine through his articles If you’d like an insightful perspective on the recent rocket attack launched by Iran against Israel, I’d also recommend Piers Morgan’s interview with Professor Mohammad Marandi. It’s long and antagonistic but it’s very informative.

We keep praying – for Gaza, for our beloved Julian, for ourselves and for each other.

May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called.

Your brother in the Good Fight,


About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow by Email
Scroll to Top