READ : Psalm 23:1-6
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. (v. 1)
On the South Dakota prairie there is a small family cemetery nestled in a grove of sassafras trees. It is a pretty place. There is a hand pump and a tin cup, and in summer you can drink well water so cold it makes your teeth ache. In autumn the leaves swim lazily down like goldfish; in winter there are frost flowers on the tombstones. Overlooking the graves there is a four-sided granite obelisk, with inscriptions on each face. As you circle the obelisk, you read “The Lord is my shepherd,” then, “He restoreth my soul,” then, “I will fear no evil,” and finally, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” What wonderful words to awake to on the day of the resurrection—the twenty-third psalm!
God is no impersonal, disinterested deity. God is involved in human affairs, your affairs and mine. God is the shepherd who leads, restores, anoints, comforts. Even when we come to the end of life, when we “walk through the darkest valley,” even there God is with us. Those South Dakota settlers knew it, and you and I know it: death may separate us from those we most love, but it doesn’t separate us from the one who most loves us—Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thank you, O God, for the hope of heaven.