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.
My summer adventures have ended but my spiritual journey hasn’t. I have been searching the New Testament to learn all I can about The Lord who is my Shepherd. If you have been challenged to commit Psalm 23 to memory, perhaps some more reflections will help.
Remember the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000…the gospel of Mark records the miracle in this way…chapter 6:32-44:
And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
It is easy to focus on the miracle of lots of people being fed lots of food. But there is more to this miracle than physical needs being met.
The Good Shepherd does not let them dwell in desolation and isolation. As one with authority to provide for all our wants and needs, Jesus commands the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. He is going to provide for their spiritual and emotional needs also.
Our Shepherd knows that whether we are introverts or extroverts there are times when it is simply not good for us to be alone. Food always seems taste better when someone else cooks it and when eaten with others. Ultimately, our souls crave belonging…relationships with God and with others.
The last few days, I have been looking around. Am I, letting the Good Shepherd lead? Are the people near me the ones Jesus wants me grouped with? Am I sitting on green grass?
If you’re standing, take a moment and sit down on green grass…say the first verses of Psalm 23…then let me know how I can pray for you by leaving a comment or reply. We are on this journey together.