Green Pastures and Still Waters

November 16th, 2006 • Category: Images of God
by Kay Olry

Images of God: Shepherd 

Today’s scripture: Psalm 23 (NKJV) (New Life Version)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts on this passage (Kay Olry):

I don’t remember the first time I heard the 23rd Psalm, but I know it’s been one of my very favorite scriptures for a long time. I’m a product of Catholic grade schools, and if I had to guess, it was probably assigned as a memorization exercise at a young age. I do remember that it was always associated with death and funerals in my earlier years. Even now, I most often hear it at funerals.

There is something so comforting about hearing these words spoken. In a world gone wild, with skyscrapers, space stations, and mass communication where we’re connected everywhere and all the time, the thought of a Shepherd, green pastures, peace, and still waters is a welcome respite in the busyness of our lives.

Most of us have never met a shepherd. It’s a life and an existence that doesn’t exist much today. The scriptures have over a hundred references to shepherds, and Christ is described as the Good Shepherd. The ancient world would have immediately understood this image; King David, who wrote the Psalm, was “the Shepherd King”, because that was where he began. In his adulthood he was called to shepherd Israel, and to take care of God’s people.

Jesus told the parable of the Shepherd who, upon realizing that one sheep out of the hundred in his flock was missing, leaves the ninety-nine in order to find and rescue the one. I was that lost sheep. We all have been, at one time or another, and God pursues us — each of us individually — each one of us important to our Creator, who restores our soul, tells us to fear no evil, and comforts us. Our Shepherd feeds us, protects us, and shelters us from those who would do us harm. God is truly our Good Shepherd.

Thought for the day: How do you let God comfort and care for you?

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: The students who will be graduating from Discipleship 102 in the next couple of weeks. May God guide them as they begin (or continue) to use their spiritual gifts.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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