By Rev. Dr. Clayton Childers, United Methodist Clergy, Retired.
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. (One of the passages that I still recite in the King James version)
It is often in times of uncertainty and fear that we feel a more urgent need to seek the presence of God. Being forced to slow down we realize our own weakness and inadequacy. Our souls speak to us, calling us seek hope and meaning in the long days and dark nights. A wonderful place to begin can be found in the comforting words of the 23rd Psalm.
Psalm 23 offers a promise of comfort for souls disrupted, lives discombobulated. Our world turned up-side-down by a mysterious virus – businesses shut, quarantines, social distancing, financial losses and fear have become our daily life. All of this in the season of Lent when we are called reflect, repent, reform, renew. May this moment of crisis not be wasted. Perhaps now the best many of us can do is pause, breathe, pray, seeking God in the silence, listening for the voice of the shepherd.
Walk with us, Shepherd God, through these days. Lead us to the streams of living water. Walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death, help us know that you are ever with us. As the shepherds look with awe toward the night sky, may the stars of heaven also comfort us. Life is a precious gift, this too will pass, a new day will dawn.