Our scripture this morning is Psalms 23:1-6.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He takes me to lush pastures, he leads me to refreshing water. He restores my strength. He leads me down the right paths for the sake of his reputation. Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff reassure me. You prepare a feast before me in plain sight of my enemies. You refresh my head with oil; my cup is completely full. Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days, and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.

Ok, I’ll admit it – this version from the New English Translation (NET) sounds different to me. At first reading, my thought was “I don’t know if I can read this at a funeral”. I have usually used the King James Version because “that’s what people expect to hear”. Maybe I need to refresh my thinking.

This very familiar psalm speaks to us of God’s comfort and care. Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and there are many scriptures that refer to us as His sheep. We hear that “even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me”. God is there for us always, ready to guide and protect us.

I hope you hear this psalm in new ways today, and feel His love refreshing you. God has set a place for us at His table. Know that His plan is eternal and when we are in relationship with Him, we can be together forever.

Loving Lord, we are grateful for Your love and care. Help us to do the same for all our brothers and sisters. Amen.

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