Psalm 23 – The Fourth Sunday of Easter â€“ for May 11, 2014
â€œThe Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . . .â€ (Psalm 23:1)
Psalm 23 is an old friend, following me throughout my ministryâ€™s journey. Indeed, even before ordination, Psalm 23 frequently starred in Sunday school lessons. As I kid, I mightâ€™ve wished for the Lord to act like a cowhand more than shepherd (since my grandparentsâ€™ ranch had cattle), but I understood the meanings . . .
How comforting that the Lord is my shepherd.
I easily picture green pastures, imagine still waters.
My cup overflows; goodness and mercy shall follow me.
Psalm 23 is like a favorite pair of jeans.
Itâ€™s comfort food, the macaroni-and-cheese of sacred scripture.
How each believer views the psalmâ€™s still waters may be different, but every distinctive memory inspired by the ancient words calms and soothes. In the six spare verses, we can be transported to a favorite beach, to the bend of a placid river, to the view of a mountain lake when the sunset paints the water gold.
*Â Â Â Â Â *Â Â Â Â Â *
In the year after my ordination, I was an intern in a church, a newly minted clergy testing the ministerial waters. Three other full-time pastors served the bustling church. Except for one wedding, my more experienced colleagues celebrated every â€œI doâ€ event. No one trusted me with a baby (let alone an adult), and I didnâ€™t do a single baptism. I preached once, with my faulty memory recalling it as of those splendid summer Sundays where every preacher was on vacation and guess whoâ€™s left to proclaim the good news?
One wedding. One sermon. Zero baptisms . . . but wait! Continue reading →