At church today one of the lectionary readings (those prescribed week by week in many of our denominations) was the 23rd Psalm. This must have been an angelic coincidence; it is what we needed to hear. You know it. We sang a hymn based on this psalm –and I found the words helpful, reassuring, comforting, so I share them here with you.
God is my shepherd, I’ll not want, I feed in pastures green.
God grants me rest and bids me drink from waters calm and clean.
Through daily tasks, I’m blessed and led by One I have not seen.
Restored to life each morning new, I rise up from the dust
to follow God whose presence gives me confidence and trust.
I praise the name of God today; in God I put my trust.
When I must pass through shadowed vale, where loss and death await,
I will not fear for God is there, my shepherd strong and great,
whose rod and staff will comfort me and all my fears abate…
Goodness and mercy all my days will surely follow me;
and where God reigns in heaven and earth, my dwelling place will be.
My shepherd blesses, cares, and leads through all eternity.
The other lectionary reading was from Revelations (ordinarily tough going for pew-sitters such as me). However, if you’re interested, Quinn Caldwell posted a devotion based on this text today at this site:http://www.ucc.org/feed-your-spirit/daily-devotional/promise.html. It’s a wonderful read.
In recent days I have been thinking about a picture I took several years ago, but was not curious enough to look for it until today. I have been thinking about it a lot this week because for me, it speaks to the miracle that is life. It is a close up photo of mosses in my back yard. Have you ever seen moss and noticed a hint of brown on top of it? This is what it looks like. It strikes me that if we ever had or have any doubt that life is a miracle, this photo should dispel it. And we – ordinary folks like you and me as well as the extraordinary ones of you among us – are miracle workers in the midst of this thing called life. This is what matters: your prayers; your solidarity with those who stand firmly rooted in love in the face of violence; your caring for neighbors; your orchestrating volunteer events; your gifts to charity; your tending of the earth whether that be in gardening or in using cloth re-usable bags at the grocery store. Each one of you is a critical part of the miracle of life; you diminish the shadows that try to darken our world; your work, love, deeds and words shepherd the rest of us toward the light.