Valleys

There are moments that stick with you like portraits carved in stone. A Sunday morning this past summer was one for me.   This particular morning I was preaching on Psalm 23 and for several weeks now, we had worshipped during the offertory by hearing the psalm sung that I was to preach.  As familiar words dressed in new musical clothes washed over me, I noticed something that etched itself into my mind.

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I Shall Not Want

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.” Psalm 23:1-2 ESV

The 23rd Psalm is undoubtedly one of the most familiar passages in all of Scripture.  As a child, I would drift off to sleep to the sound of my grandmother’s most comforting voice reading these words at bedtime.  As I’ve grown, I’ve heard it read in worship services, funerals and even weddings, on occasion.  Because of its familiarity, this is a passage that is easy for me to gloss over.  And then, there’s the imagery of sheep and a shepherd, which seems archaic in our fast-paced, high-tech culture.  How do these verses define us today?  If we stop for a moment and remove the wool from our eyes, our identity comes sharply into focus.

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