The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, [a]I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Jehovah Rohi. It is the beginning phrase of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd”. During this advent season of 2020, may this picture of the Lord as our tender, caring, and strong Shepherd give us the comfort and courage we stand in need of. Sheep are dependent creatures, who fully rely on their shepherd’s leading, tending, and protection. Undoubtedly, this year, we too like sheep have been led to green pastures and quiet waters for rest and
sustenance. Countless times our souls have experienced the refreshment that comes from our Shepherd’s tender and personal leading. However, this year particularly, we have also experienced our share of walking through dark valleys of navigating the pandemic and it’s
effects. In these hard and difficult places, we have also experienced the comfort of the Lord’s rod and staff. Both the rod and staff are used to prod or pull back the sheep from predators, as well as guiding lost sheep as they stray away from the fold. Especially in the dark valleys, we need the shepherd’s protection from the evil one, who prowls around like a lion (I Pet 5:8) and the lies that he whispers to us. May we not give into the temptation of isolating ourselves from the flock and the Shepherd as times become harder. Instead, let us run back to the fold and entrust ourselves to the Shepherd’s faithful care.
– Jennifer Baas
Our heavenly Father, we thank you for the amazing gift of humbling yourself to become one among us. Please help us never to take for granted Jesus’ sacrifice which enables us to be part of your flock and to be under your faithful and loving care. Amen.