Team Rector: Rev. Margaret Sherwin
Bible Reading Psalm 23
God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
This is an unfamiliar version of Psalm 23 but it still reminds us that we can trust in God because he can supply our every need. God does provide us with times of rest and refreshment providing we are not too busy to take them.
It also reminds us that God is with us in our darkest moments, walking by our side.
The six-course dinner is a substitute for the usual translation of anointing with oil, which was the tradition treatment for an honoured guest at a banquet.
Through the book of Psalms and the worship of the people of Israel, we get a glimpse into the character of God and how we should rightly respond to Him in worship. In the familiar Psalm 23 we are introduced to God as the Good Shepherd.
To enter the sheepfolds of the Middle East, a shepherd's sheep had to pass under his rod for him to inspect their condition up close. The shepherd would tend to any obvious needs one by one. Then when all the sheep were in the fold, he lay down across the opening with his own body. Through the 23rd Psalm we better understand our Good Shepherd in a personal way. Ask God to show you about himself in this classic psalm, which unfortunately is so familiar that we can recite it without receiving its revelation deep in our spirits. Listen for what God wants you to know about who he is, what he does, and what you have in your Shepherd.
As we think about what it means that God shepherds His people and look forward to John 10, where Jesus talks about laying down His life for His sheep, we are reminded that we are all sheep who have gone astray and need the faithful guidance of a Good Shepherd.