THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
Many of us can recite Psalm 23 by memory. This psalm has brought peace and comfort to many people, especially in times of illness, death or other hardships. What is it about the image of God as our Shepherd that brings us peace, comfort- and even joy?
Light the Prophecy, Bethlehem and Shepherd Candles.
Psalm 23:1-4, 6 (NRSV)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me…
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
John 10:11 (NRSV)
I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
Jesus reaffirms the image of Psalm 23 when he calls himself our good shepherd. As our shepherd, Jesus will protect, lead, care, tend, restore and even die for us. We find our peace and comfort when we entrust ourselves to him, sheltering under his loving guidance even in our darkest valleys. We are Perceivers of Joy in knowing that we need not worry. We are held in the embrace of the One who will safely lead us home.
Our joy is also in the words, “I shall not want.” Jesus our Shepherd provides all we need and cares for us more than we can imagine. We even find that our desire for anything else lessens as our completion and wholeness in Christ increases.
Such joy! What more could we want?
Prayer: Our Good Shepherd, thank you for leading, tending and loving us, all the way home. Our joy is in you. Amen.