The reading for today is Psalm 23:1-4
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside still waters; 3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff-they comfort me.
These verses are very often used for funerals and I have heard them in a variety of translations. All of them give a sense of great comfort in the mist of the darkest times of our lives. God is with us to help us be brave and be comforted as we are led the right way with Him right along with us.
It is hard to believe that it has been two years since a group of people from Living Lord, along with friends and family visited the Holy Land. At the end of a long day of touring, we had the op-portunity to get off the bus in the bright sunlight and look below to see the area that was de-scribed to us as the valley of the shadow of death. It had been an invigorating and also tiring day, so in some ways, the thought of peering over the top of a hill as we had pulled over on the side of the road, was not necessarily something I wanted to do. However, the view was incredi-ble.
Standing in bright sunlight at the top of the hill, we could see a winding road from Jericho to Je-rusalem, that was in darkness. The way the hills hug to the road below us in a distance, the road was obscured by the precipices above it. At the curve in the road was an old monastery, St. George’s, that had been established many years ago to aid travelers, who were ambushed along this area. It was suggested by our guide that in this valley of death was possibly the origin of the parable of the Good Samaritan. We all know the end of that story.
The Lord is our shepherd, and we shall not want, as He is always there with and for us, protect-ing us his flock, as a shepherd guides his sheep. We are kept from danger and led through the darkest valleys of our lives. How wonderful that our Lord is always there to lead us if we are willing to follow.
Let us pray - Dear Lord, We are sometimes at low points or valleys in our lives. We pray that you will continue to be with us during those most difficult times. Lead us to the Son shine so that we may see the beauty of your love for us. Amen
Prayer Concern - Please remember those who are discouraged and a valley of their lives. May they be lifted up by you in some small and meaningful way.
Alternative verses for today -Genesis 30:25-43, or Acts 3: 17-26