Our theme today focusses on psalm 22 (23). There is an alternative translation of it amongst the attachments. Sometimes a different translation throws a different light on a well-known piece of scripture. The words of the psalm don’t really need much additional material – they speak very clearly to us of a shepherding God. The psalm is full of reassurance, of refreshment of all kinds, of feeling safe & richly cared for, of being ‘spoilt’ by God’s extraordinary generosity. We hope you will find these things & rest & peace as you reflect on it.
We will end with ‘Let the Peace of the Father’ from Sacred Weave as our blessing this week.
With our love
You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need.
You let me rest in fields of green grass.
You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths.
I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.
You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch.
You honour me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows.
Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life,
And I will live forever in your house, Lord.
On Psalm 22 (23)
Psalm 22 (23) is a song of absolute trust. It sings of a love that has no fear. It is serene, peaceful, full of gratitude for gifts received & confidence for the days to come. Here is the human spirit at home with its God. In rich, & perhaps deceptively simple images, the psalmist paints a beautiful picture of faith without fear. He begins with the assertion: The Lord is my shepherd . Everything follows from that assertion of absolute trust. Jesus, a man at home in the country, knew well the depth of the true shepherd’s concern: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. Ezekiel says, ‘Thus says the Lord, I myself will search for my sheep, & will seek them out……and I will feed them on the mountains …….. I will feed them with good pasture….’.
With such a shepherd there is simply nothing lacking. Life is full of every blessing. The images come tumbling out: green pastures, still restful waters, life replenished by plenty, safe paths through life’s ways. God is the satisfaction of every need not because of who I am but because of who God is. God has named himself, ‘I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep.