Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Easter 4 C - Psalm 23

Psalm 23
The promises of Psalm 23; green pastures, still waters, soul restored, right paths followed, comfort and confidence in death’s dark valley, a feast in front of foes, head anointed, cup overflowing, goodness and mercy and a home in the house of the Lord are made possible by the statement of surrender, "the Lord is my shepherd." The second statement “I shall not want” is made possible by the first. Of course surrendering and being satisfied does not come naturally to us. The story of “the fall” is all about humans not being satisfied with paradise and in lusting after the fruit that was pleasing to the eye and useful for knowledge their attempt at an upgrade from creature to creator introduced a virus that infects us today. We infect this psalm with that virus when we think of the Shepherd as a service provider or make it all about the forever home in the Lord’s house. To surrender to the Shepherd is to be satisfied with creature status and trust that the One who comforts us through the valley of the shadow of whatever we face knows the way. That means green pastures can exist where there is no grass. Still waters can be found in the middle of a rushing river. The right path is the one we’re on as long as the Shepherd walks with us. And because we know the Shepherd is Jesus the feast prepared must be as much for the foe as it is for us. When we are satisfied with the Shepherd with us in whatever pasture we inhabit the goodness and mercy that “follows” catches up with us and the forever house of the Lord is our home today.

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