The Lord Is My Shepherd
Jane M. Gardner, presiding evangelist
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 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 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. -Psalm 23
Some think that Psalm 23 was written by David as a description of the kind of leader he wanted to be-mindful and present with God throughout his life.
One of my earliest recollections is sitting on my NaNa Browne’s lap while she taught me to sing:
Jesus is the shepherd,
Guess who I am?
Such a lovely secret,
I’m his little lamb.
Her strong, warm alto voice vibrated through me and communicated her love for me and for Jesus. I couldn’t have been more than two years old. The first time I saw the famous painting of Jesus the Shepherd holding a small lamb, I remember thinking, “That’s me! Jesus is holding me in his arms.” That coziness of my grandmother’s lap and the feeling of the lamb in the painting being securely held by Jesus became inextricably linked. Even at that early age I knew Jesus loved me.
Like David in the psalm, I have carried that knowing with me. As I view the landscape of my life now, it is rather humbling to realize that God has been a faithful companion, helping to lead my life, even at moments when I felt alone and deserted. From the vantage point of years later, I can see God’s faithfulness, even though, at times, I was convinced otherwise.
The Lord is my shepherd-I’m his little lamb. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,” or as Isaac Watts paraphrased it:
The sure provisions of my God attend me all my days;
oh, may his house be my abode, and all my work be praise.
There will I find reviving rest, and freely go and come;
no more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home. -“My Shepherd Will Supply My Need,” Community of Christ Sings 247
In God we all belong.
Sustaining Our Connections
Many find themselves isolated around the world to protect each other and the most vulnerable during this global pandemic. Spend time prayerfully imagining those people that you might normally come into contact with on a regular basis, known and unknown. Remember all the connections that sustain our lives each day. Even in this time of intentional separation, how are you experiencing deep, intrinsic belonging in God?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.