GRACE AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR AND LORD. AMEN. (Titus 1:4)
– ISAIAH Ch. 40.
– John 10: 1- 18.
– HEBREWS 13: 18- 21.
Then… – PSALM 23.
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, I SHALL NOT BE IN WANT.
HE MAKES ME LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES,
HE LEADS ME BESIDE QUIET WATERS, HE RESTORES MY
SOUL. HE GUIDES ME IN PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE. EVEN THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME; YOUR ROD AND YOUR STAFF, THEY COMFORT ME. YOU PREPARE A TABLE BEFORE ME IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES. YOU ANOINT MY HEAD WITH OIL, MY CUP OVERFLOWS. SURELY GOODNESS AND LOVE WILL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, AND I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER.
I must begin with a confession: as a little child, I learned Psalm 23 by heart almost at the same time as I learned the Lord’s Prayer. Obviously …in Hungarian and taught by my Mother. Since, I have learned it in some more languages and it still has the same devotional blessing as in my childhood. Reading, singing or just reciting it for myself, always calms and guides me, restoring my soul. I know, I am not alone in this special relationship with Psalm 23, therefore let me invite you today to MEDITATE with me on its messages:
– THE LORD IS THE SHEPHERD OF HIS FLOCK Stay near to Him. Circumstances, like this Coronavirus pandemic, can affect us but do not control us, if we follow Him. God is the resting place for our fears, keeping us in the care of the One, who holds together our lives and our universe.
– HE RESTORES OUR SOULS We absorb the shocks of life through prayer, through worship, through our still moments alone with God. Our pain or grief work itself out through the healing, comfort and counsel of the Holy Spirit, and our souls are suddenly restored.
– HE LEADS US We are not left adrift. Aimless is not our direction. By feeling God’s presence and purpose in our lives, we have His power guarding our ways.
– HE IS OUR COMFORTER AND SUPPORT Putting one foot in front of the other is the key to getting through the valley of shadows. Trusting God with each moment of every day during this valley-walk means that the Lord, not evil, will see us through.
– FEASTING WITH THE LORD Enemies win by frightening us. Having COMMUNION with the Lord, Our Shepherd, we have His presence as a support in our fears and no harm will be done to our souls. Evil’s defeat is assured.
– GOODNESS AND LOVE WILL FOLLOW US The Shepherd’s way keeps us near to Him by making our character better and our actions more and more driven by love, gradually being turned really CHRIST-LIKE.
– STAYING WITH GOD FOR EVER We end our lives by how we live our lives. If we lived with our Lord and Shepherd, then we are reminded that our earthly shelter will be changed into a heavenly shelter.
If you turn back to my Sunday address, you can find more about the background of shepherding in the Middle East, as well as the lyrics of this beautiful psalm. Sing it and remember what once Beethoven said: who sings a hymn, prays twice.
– Faith, hope and love so much needed to survive this pandemic,
– Christians, Churches, people of other faiths or none,
– those who are overstressed and overworked during these times,
– God’s support on loved ones and family life,
– children and young, elderly and those recently infected by the virus,
– the unemployed, homeless, abandoned and for the FOODBANK to help,
– the blessing of God Almighty upon all of us.
Don’t hesitate to say the Lord’s Prayer as often as you search for words of prayer: OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN…
MAY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF AND GOD THE FATHER, WHO LOVED US AND BY HIS GRACE GAVE US ETERNAL ENCOURAGEMENT AND GOOD HOPE, ENCOURAGE YOUR HEARTS AND STRENGTHEN YOU IN EVERY GOOD DEED AND WORD. Amen.
(2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17)
Sandor, your Minister