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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 23           

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
   He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
   he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
   for his name’s sake.

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.

You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.

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. (NRSV)

It’s easy to see why this passage is one of the most famous and well-known passages in the entire Bible. It is such a clear and succinct expression of the gospel. The promise of the Shepherd, of peace, contentment, and protection are written as if it is the most obvious thing in the world. And Christ would fulfill these promises when he came to earth, Emmanuel.

I think it’s sobering to dwell on the fact that these proclamations in the psalm were made a thousand years before Christ came to earth. I tend to think about the God of the Old Testament as different from the God of the New Testament. It’s an easy trap to fall into.

But this passage makes clear that the gospel is a constant and has been for all human history. God is with us. God protects us. God brings us peace.

God of all creation, thank you for your peace and comfort in this world. Lead me down the paths of your choosing, so that I may be able to bring your peace to all I come in contact with. Amen.

Written by Jared Light, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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