Going Deeper 5-8-19

The Psalm for Easter 4...
Psalm 23   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.

This most beloved of all Psalms is quite certainly the most often read text during the final hours of life and at funerals and memorial services.  This is fitting as it points to the presence of our Good Shepherd as we walk through "the darkest valley"-- or as older translations put it: "the valley of the shadow of death."  This assurance brings peace and comfort... for both the one nearing death and those gathered around them.  Anticipating dwelling eternally " in the house of the Lord" is powerful.

However, this beautiful poem has meaning for our entire life journey.  Our Good Shepherd is with us throughout all of the years of our life, guiding, providing, protecting and restoring us all along the way.   We dwell in the presence  of our Lord our "whole life long."

Ours is no ordinary Shepherd, but one filled with so much love that He was willing to lay down His life for us... which makes this a fitting Psalm for this Easter season.  His "goodness and mercy" were on display on the cross, and continue to be on display throughout our journey.  And on that Easter morning death itself was defeated, gifting us not only with eternal life after death, but meaningful life right now.

The LORD is our Shepherd... what a wonderful truth!!

With You in Him,
Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."