Friday, January 22, 2016

Rereading the Scripture

Rereading the Scripture
“Scripture is like a river . . . broad and deep, shallow enough here for the lamb to go wading, but deep enough there for the elephant to swim.”—
 Gregory the Great

I have found as I am moving into being middle-aged that some of the Scriptures that I find to be most powerful and meaningful are the ones with which I am more familiar. As I get older, these Scriptures take on whole new meaning for me. The parable of the sheep and goats is one such Scripture, especially as I look at some things going on in our nation and our world, and the call to welcome the stranger. Another such passage is the Genesis 6, where it talks about the violence and sinfulness of the world, and how this behavior led to the judgment of the world. Last week, however, as I was preparing to go to the nursing home, it was Psalm 23 that caught my attention.
Psalm 23 speaks in new and powerful ways to me now. At times I just kind of recited this psalm from memory, or read it without thinking. Recently it has been a word of comfort from the Lord that I keep coming back to.

Here is that Psalm, for those of you who may not know it well:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will 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 your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (NIV)

As I reread this text last week, three items of good news spoke to me, and I hope they speak to you as well.

If we choose to be led by the Good Shepherd by acknowledging Jesus as our Lord and Savior we can claim that:

1.    God’s presence is always with us. In the good times, he provides for us and refreshes us (v. 2-3). In the difficult times, he guides, protects, and honors us (v. 4-5). Either way, his love and goodness are ever present with the faithful (v. 6)

2.   God invites us on a journey. God meets us where we are, but he does not leave us there. As you read through the Psalm you see that God is leading us on a journey and has a purpose for us.

3.    God calls us to live with him for eternity. The promise of God is all who choose to have him as their Good Shepherd will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever” Isn’t that good news?

So, my friends, take that hope and blessing with you. Have a great week!

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