Our subject matter today is Psalm the 23rd Psalm. I wish this podcast is beneficial, informative, and encouraging for you. Let us pray…

Shepherd Me, O God, beyond my desires, beyond my fears, from dying into lifestyles. Amen. (ELW 780)

Psalm 23
Please open your Bible to Psalm 23. The e book of Psalms is the prayer ebook of the Bible, and, aside from the Lord’s Prayer, the 23rd Psalm is possibly the most well-known prayer within the Bible. Many of us found out it via heart growing up. As I recite it now, you can close your eyes, or study or recite it with me, or study along with your own Bible, noting the similarities and variations. Highlight the phrase or phrase that catches your interest. Write a phrase or in the margin describing what you hear.

A Psalm of David. (Revised Standard Version)

23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not need;
2 he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside nonetheless waters;
three he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his call’s sake.

Four Even though I stroll thru the valley of the shadow of dying,
I worry no evil;
for thou artwork with me;
thy rod and thy team of workers,
they consolation me.

Five Thou preparest a desk earlier than me
in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil,
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall observe me
all the days of my existence;
and I shall stay within the residence of the Lord
for ever.

What become a word or phrase that stuck your attention? What emotions or mind does this passage evoke for you these days?

The first phrase that comes to thoughts for lots of us is the phrase: consolation. There is something about this psalm that produces or attracts out people calm, peace, religion, warranty, self assurance.

Some of it’d should do with familiarity, right? The cadence, the words, fill us with memories and recollection of a life-time of worship and prayer. Like coming domestic. Maybe you memorized it as a baby, or the phrases were spoken on the funeral of a loved one, or it helped you through a hard time to your existence. I assume the energy of this psalm is that it recognizes BOTH the struggle of human existence AND the sovereignty and provision of God. (It enables that it is extraordinarily short, as a long way as Bible passages cross…)

Yea, even though I walk via the valley of the shadow of dying
I study this and I assume: David “gets it.” Life is difficult and scary on occasion. It is the human situation to find ourselves on foot through that “valley of the shadow of death.” Sometimes this has to do with our mortality—grieving a loss of life; a loved one in hospice care; dealing with an upcoming surgery or most cancers treatment. Sometimes it’s miles only a season of dis-ease or disruption, I don’t know, like, maybe the risk of a world-huge pandemic. In the Hebrew language, this “valley of the shadow of death” can seek advice from dying and grief, however additionally fear, uncertainty, and the shortage of manage. We aren’t without a doubt positive where we’re going: we are “inside the dark,” and that makes us mad, traumatic, afraid.

Here’s the crazy thing, too. Just because there is a virulent disease going on, it doesn’t mean all our different issues go away, proper? In reality, the heightened anxiety we’ve got because of the virus sincerely decreases our capacity to make exact selections about all of it—relationships, faith, fitness, addictions, and many others. I imply, it’s smooth to criticize individuals who are shopping for up rest room paper like it’s going out of fashion, however the truth is that we’re all doing the best we are able to. When we’re demanding, it’s far tough to think honestly and act rationally. When I worked as a hospice chaplain, one of the most important capabilities I had became to assist lower the anxiety tiers within the patient, or in the room, or with members of the circle of relatives. The decrease the tension, the better their capability to stand challenges and changes.

So, what do we do while we’re annoying and wanting aid? We visit church or have espresso with a friend. But wait, we’re no longer supposed to do that nowadays…so we run the risk of experiencing even higher ranges of tension. Anxiety degrees are higher, and our coping assets are fewer. Uncharted territory.

Good Shepherd
Though we stroll thru the darkest valley, we worry no evil, the psalm says, due to the fact God is sort of a shepherd. In truth, God is MY shepherd, OUR shepherd, he says, and due to that, we lack nothing, we worry now not, and we are in no way on my own. The faithfulness of God is the supply of our desire, self assurance, and energy.

My ranching and farming friends always balk every time I attempt to use snap shots like this approximately which I am hopelessly naïve. I’m a pastor’s child, and I grew up in suburbs and small towns. But let’s work with this shepherd element a bit bit. The psalm is attributed to an historical parent named David. The Bible says that he grew up tending sheep out inside the hill us of a. He discovered how plenty the sheep depended on him to defend them, lead them, rescue and luxury them after they were given in trouble.

When David became king, he understood that he changed into now to be a shepherd for the people. As king, he become to guard the human beings of Israel, lead them, even rescue and comfort them. The account of ways God chose David to be king (1 samuel 16:1-7) means that David’s “shepherd heart” changed into the premise for his choice. 1 samuel 16:7 says that “People study the outward appearance, but God looks at the coronary heart.”

The prophet Ezekiel would later articulate God’s personal heart of a shepherd (Ezekiel 34:11-16):

For that is what the Sovereign God says: I myself will look for my sheep and appearance after them…I will look after my sheep, I will rescue them from all the locations in which they are scattered on the day of clouds and darkness…I will have a tendency my sheep and feature them lie down…I will look for the lost and produce again the strays. I will bind up the injured and make stronger the weak…I will shepherd the flock with justice.

In the New Testament, Jesus—Son of God, Son of David—takes up the mantle of Good Shepherd in his ministry, taking the picture of shepherd even one step similarly: “I am the good shepherd,” Jesus says inside the gospel of John, chapter 10, verse eleven. “The precise shepherd lays down his lifestyles for the sheep.” He is, in reality, the good shepherd, who is aware of his sheep, and that they recognise him, and he lays down his lifestyles for the sake of the safety, provision, consolation, and healing of the sheep. Jesus dies on the cross to illustrate God’s shepherd heart. For you.

My prayer is that you may take comfort in this psalm this week, as I even have. God shepherd’s you. God knows your wishes and fears. God is with you inside the darkest valleys and regardless of what is going on round you, you are held inside the presence of God, and could stay in the house of the Good Shepherd for all time. Can you agree with that these days? Can you stay in this sort of hope? Probably not. But it isn’t as much as you or me to muster up faith—this also is a present from the Good Shepherd. So come, Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Shepherd, help me to accept as true with in you, to find comfort and energy for your provision, safety, leading, and recovery contact. Amen.

Life is tough. God is devoted. I offer a few programs for God’s phrase for you this week.

1. God is my shepherd, I lack nothing. In an generation of hoarding bathroom paper, voluntary distancing, and sagging markets, remember the fact that everything we’ve and need comes from God. This doesn’t mean we get to avoid the valleys and darkish instances and long lines at Costco. It doesn’t imply we are immune from disorder or anxiety. It approach that God’s got this. “He’s got the entire global in his arms…”

2. MAKES me lie down in green pastures. The psalm says that God “MAKES ME lie down in inexperienced pastures…” Am I the only one who tends to push too tough from time to time, to fill my time table in order that I can feel wished or profitable? Maybe it isn’t always all bad that the pandemic is forcing us all to change routines and gradual down. I don’t want to get into complex theological waters about the wrath of God or punishment right here, however God does command us to honor the sabbath, to take time to relaxation and worship, or even to allow the land and waters to relaxation. If we don’t honor the Sabbath, the Bible tells us no longer to be amazed if God “sabbaths” us. Maybe we’re being “sabbathed.” Maybe the Good Shepherd is making us lie down in green pastures, beside nevertheless water, to repair our souls. Let us use this time to sabbath: to rest, worship, bake cookies, take walks, make love, and draw pics.

3. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thank God for people who are on the front strains of this pandemic. Let us guide and pray for our leaders, first responders, health care professionals, and grocery clerks. These are gifts from God, sent to consolation and manual us.

4. You have anointed my head with oil. To be anointed means to be chosen, set apart for God’s paintings. We might not accumulate publicly, however we are nevertheless the church. Each one people is a chaplain. Our houses are campuses of Faith Lutheran. How are we able to lower tension stages within the human beings around us? Who wishes a smartphone call, a well-being take a look at, an awesome laugh, or heartfelt prayer. Let us be the church. Let us imitate the shepherd’s heart, defensive, offering, main, and recovery our pals in need (at the proper social distancing, of direction!).

Five. Surely, goodness and mercy shall comply with me. I recognise, I say this approximately each week, however it can’t be overstated: BE KIND. Let goodness and mercy observe us, and maybe even let them trap up to us! Goodness is GRACE—what we are able to do to help others. Mercy is SPACE—allowing others to make mistakes, forgiving, withholding judgment. Being type is each goodness AND mercy. Be kind to others. Be type to your self. We don’t have anything higher to do.

May God bless you and preserve you.

May God’s face shine on you and God’s grace overflow in you.

May God’s favor relaxation on you and provide you with the peace that passes all knowledge.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the affection of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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