Our scripture this morning is 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.

While this psalm is probably the most familiar of all, it is important that we read it with understanding and not just fond memories of Sunday School. In six short verses it tells us of God’s love, protection and provision for us. I often read this passage from a variety of different translations to hear it in different words and hopefully find more meaning in this wonderful promise from God. 

Several things jump out right away. God leads us in the right direction because of His goodness. He is always with us. He wants to provide for us and wants us to be in a relationship with Him. We read “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”, an indication that we are invited to His table, even when things may seem dire.

God is always there for us but we have to ask Him into our lives. He doesn’t force the connection between us but gently invites us to be part of what He is doing in creation. If we are faithful, we can dwell in His house in peace and safety forever.

Loving Lord, help us to live into these familiar words. May we not just recite them but through You make them real for all Your children. Amen.

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