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The Good Shepherd

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
4 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.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 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.

— Psalm 23

This is a very familiar psalm for many of us. I have read it with many members who are in nursing homes and with people who are suffering with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It so interesting to me when I say the first few words, they can join me in the rest of the psalm. I have read it with families in times of the near death of a love one, at funeral services, and in times of families struggling to understand why things are going the way that they are. It is a psalm that in these days of COVID-19 that speaks to us in a comforting way that I feel so many of us need.

There have been so many commercials on TV that remind us we are in this together. People have done things to care for their neighbors. This is the good news that I think we need to keep before us and remember from this time. The new normal will look nothing like it did before, but the God of the Psalms will not change. So, I close with this benediction:

God the Shepherd, bless us and keep us.
God the Redeemer, smile upon us and be gracious toward us.
God the Spirit, lead us in the path of wisdom and peace.
And all of God’s people say: Amen.

Peace,
Pastor Cynthia