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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Easter 4C Psalm 23

I remember very clearly the last time I preached this passage before a congregation. My life, along with the other pastors of our little town, had been threatened. There is something about preaching God leading me beside quiet waters and green pastures when everything inside of me screams chaos and fear.

I have never raised sheep. I have never been close to a sheep other than a petting zoo. Yet I preached this message in a farming community where everyone knew more about farm animals than I did. Sometimes the preacher learns more from the congregation than the congregation learns from the preacher.

What does it mean to have complete confidence in the shepherd? Does it mean I am never afraid of death? Does it mean I know the shepherd will take care of me even if I die? Does it mean the shepherd will care for those I leave behind? Do the green pastures and quiet waters last beyond the grave?

An excellent book about Psalm 23 is A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller.

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