Read: Psalm 23.
The Fourth Sunday of Easter is the Good Shepherd Sunday. Some part of John 10 and Psalm 23 are always part of these lectionary texts. The passages connect the resurrection life celebrated throughout the Easter season with God’s providential care that provides security in the midst of tough times and a promised future of peace. Psalm 23 is a psalm of trust in the midst of crisis. However, the crisis here is not clearly identified. There are allusions to the forty years of exodus wanderings. The theme of needing nothing in verse one is paralleled in Nehemiah 9:21 where for forty years the people “lacked nothing,” the same Hebrew word translated as “shall not want” in Psalm 23:1. While difficult times—the darkest valley—beset all people, including all of God’s people, faith in Christ still allows one to see and experience beauty and peace. The term “follow” in verse six also means “pursue.” Here it is contrasted with its usual Old Testament association of being pursued by an enemy. Even more, in this psalm we are pursued by the love and protection of our Good Shepherd. When you read Psalm 23, what words stood out for you? How do those words relate to what you are now experiencing in your life?
Pray: Good Shepherd, give me eyes to see and a heart to believe that you have set green pastures and still waters before me and that your goodness and mercy pursue me always. Amen.