Did you see this one coming beloved reader?
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23)
I first learned/heard Psalm 23 in the King James Version. The New King James Version does not have the “right” sort of feel for me. And as I considered why, I realized it was because the older English makes you slow down to put your tongue around the words, and helps you to stop and think about what they few verses are saying. I do not know if the writer of Psalms knew what he/she was creating when these verses were inscribed so long ago.
“The Lord is my shepherd . . “ Keep in mind what a good shepherd does for the sheep. Not only food and drink, but nurture and care. We do not need to fear when the Good Shepherd is with us – no matter what happens.
I said Wednesday that I am approaching my theme from a backward perspective – saying what we should do; and then saying how God/Christ does care. It is out of realization and appreciation for what God/Christ does for us that we should do for others. We may do “shepherding” not as perfectly as God or Jesus Christ does it, but we read in I John 3:16-24 “that we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” And that in John 10:11-18 that it is the good shepherd who takes better care of the sheep than the hired hand. We are not called to be “sometimes Christians” depending on whether it is good/profitable to us. We are called to be Christians in service to humanity.
But as we work and struggle to be all that God calls us to be, we are comforted by the fact that God and Christ are our Good Shepherds and that we are cared for while we do God’s work. May you beloved reader feel the Good Shepherd’s presence in your life as you minister and shepherd others. Selah!