Reflection from Pastor Amy
For the last seven weeks, poetry has been my reading of choice. I hear of people reading the great novels of literature in these days. I don’t have capacity for much more than a few short, concentrated lines. I’m grateful our ancestors in faith saved their poetry, hymns, and prayers for us in the Psalms, especially at times like this.
In the Book of Psalms, we hear the questions we don’t know how to answer: “How long, O Lord?” (Psalm 13). We hear trust in God’s presence expressed: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46). We hear people call on God in times of need: “Be pleased, O God, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me” (Psalm 70). In the Psalms we are reminded that there is no thought, no feeling, no expression of our innermost self that is beyond God’s desire to know and hear. This week in worship we will hear Psalm 23 – the poem of a sheep who rests in the care of a shepherd.
God is my shepherd, he gives me all I need.
He gives me wonderful places to rest and sleep.
He lets me splash and play in cool, clear waters.
He helps me do what is right.
I am not afraid even in the darkest nights
Because you are with me, God, and
Your protection comforts me.
When danger comes, you give me strength.
My life is filled with your love, and all I want is to be
With you my whole life long. (Translation, Spark Story Bible)
What do these words call to mind for you?
In these words, I hear the person I wish to be, more than the person I am today. I am sometimes fearful about having enough. I can be afraid and restless when I wake at night or when I hear the news of each new day. I am not always aware of or grateful for all that I have been given.
Psalm 23 reminds us that it doesn’t matter who we are today. Our God is a shepherd who provides for us, helps us, comforts us, strengthens us, protects us, and loves us, no matter what kind of critter we are! Our God is a shepherd who walks with us along every pathway! May you know the presence of the Good Shepherd walking near you in the week ahead.
~ Pastor Amy