Rev. Donald R. Elly, M.Div.
The first three verses of the 23rd Psalm proclaim the role of a shepherd in the life of those the shepherd (a designation for the King in the ancient world and for God in Judaism). Listen to the first three verses and ponder what you expect from those we elect to govern us. “The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive. He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name.” (CEB)
Aram Bae in his recent devotional on the 23rd Psalm comments that this description of God is the most powerful phrase in the Psalm for him.(1) He writes first in confession that he finds himself “venting a great deal these days as all of us are living together alone with COVID-19.” My venting is really complaining and he provides several examples to which I could relate. “I hate not seeing my people in person; I miss seeing my students at Church; I miss laughing; sharing and eating together. I hate physical distancing. I miss social proximity. I really hate this COVID-19.”
He captures perfectly for me how I am feeling as we deal with all the changes brought about by this Pandemic. But then he made a powerful point that has stayed with me since I read his words and have reflected on my own feelings. Aram writes, “ And yet, here I am, alive and healthy. I call family and friends every day. I zoom, I worship on-line, we have food and water…”I lack nothing because the Lord is our shepherd, we have family, friends, grateful memories of the past, and promise of the present and the future We may experience loss and grief and still there are restful waters and proper paths to carry us through. Yes! We lack nothing, for the good Lord is our shepherd.
Prayer: Lord, you are not my shepherd, but our shepherd. Because of you we are not on our own; we have those with whom to share. Remembering all the resources provided may my complaints be transformed into gratitude because with you we lack nothing. Amen.
4th Sunday of Easter
May 3, 2020. Cycle A
(1)d365 is a daily on-line devotional that follows the Common Lectionary and provides the means to worship God, and deepen faith through the day. I highly recommend it. Just go to App Store on your phone to find it.