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Journey to Jerusalem Day 28

Tuesday, March 24 Psalm 23
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 paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will 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
forever.


The 23rd Psalm expresses praise and thanksgiving. Consider the first stanza of a paraphrase of this beloved text by Henry William Baker:
The king of love my Shepherd is.
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine forever.
Jesus Christ, our good Shepherd, forms the anti-type of two forerunners in faith, according to retired English prof Herbert Schneidau. "Moses and David, the most famous shepherds, exemplify a pattern of emerging from obscurity to manifest God's choice of the unregarded or despised as appointed leaders ... The implication is that such obscurity may be preparation for greatness."
So. Never think yourself to be too wounded or unfit a vessel, or too much a private person to take up a ministry in your parish.
Unless, of course, you really don't believe that Jesus restores your soul.


Today, O God of all days,
give me an experience of your heart.
Draw me deep into your very being.
into the core of your love for me, others, and the world.
Give me a glimpse of others the way you see others;
loving them, forgiving them,
and delighting in the way they give glory to God
through their very existence.
Help me to discern out of that open place of deep affection
so that I too might be a useful vessel of your love in the world.
Amen.