The Shepherd Psalm
Rev. Jeff Wood, First Presbyterian Church of Sebastian
Is there any more beloved portion of the Bible than the 23rd Psalm?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup (a symbol for your life) runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house (a place of safety and love) of the Lord forever.
I have several books that illuminate Psalm 23. I want to tell you just one thing I love about this psalm, something that launches in its very first sentence. The Lord is my shepherd.
The start is so God. I was walking with my wife. We saw a dress in a shop window and she said, “That is so Linda.” Linda is her best friend. This sentence is so God. It’s him, right from the get-go, being my shepherd. Your shepherd.
There’s no plea. “Please be my shepherd.” There’s no distance. “I’ll be humanity’s shepherd rather than your shepherd.” There are no conditions to take care of before he will take up the role.
One college professor makes this same point in this way. He asks his students if they know how the Ten Commandments begin. Maybe you think you know? “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me.” But that isn’t it. That’s number one but that isn’t the start. The ten starts with, “I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” How did that happen? How did we get him, this amazing God, for our God? How did we get him delivering us? Because we pled and promised to do this and this and that and that? No, God just showed up and started doing shepherd-stuff for us before we even knew we needed it.
Do you know that is happening for you rigiht now? Silently, lovingly, quietly, caringly, God is being your shepherd.
Rev. Jeff Wood, First Presbyterian Sebastian, 1405 Lousiana Ave, 32958 (772-589-5656)