The Good Shepherd Came Down
Meditations on Psalm 23:2
On Christmas morning 2011 I led Church of the Open Door through meditations of the wonder of Psalm 23 in light if the Incarnation. Because of Christmas, King David’s words describe the reality of our lives as Christians. The Lord is my Shepherd.
I had journaled through each of the verses of the Psalm the week before, meditating on the actuality of Christ being my Good Shepherd who showed up in a manger in Bethlehem so that all that David says and feels about his Good Shepherd is true of me.
Day Two: He takes me to lush pastures, he leads me to refreshing water (Psalm 23:2, NET Bible).
Sometimes I forget that David was a king. Imagine the pressures on his schedule—the endless meetings, the long lines of people needing their king, the palace operatives demanding an audience. And all of this while trying to appease the too many wives and too neglected children of his highly dysfunctional family.
Still, in the blur of his kingly schedule, David prioritized his personal time with his Good Shepherd. Whether on the battlefield, around the palace, with his flocks, or in the charged atmosphere of his home, David made time for his Shepherd.
Because David knew that only his Shepherd could take him to that place where the two of them could be alone, that place of rest and refreshment.
Right now, on the 20th of December, I’m so unlike David I’m ashamed to admit it. Unlike David, I’m exhausted. Not from leading armies into battle or settling arguments between the Secretary of State and a Senator, but from celebrating the birth of the Good Shepherd!
But it’s not his fault; it’s mine.
There’s not one sentence in his entire Bible that says, “Okay, Ed, when my birthday comes, make such a big deal about it that you stop just short of killing yourself and everyone else with special events, parties, and activities. That’s what I want from you in December. Wait, that’s not enough, I want you to start all of this right after Thanksgiving…or better yet, before Thanksgiving!”
No, all he wants from me in December is what he wants from me the other eleven months of the year.
He just wants me.
To stop what I’m doing, look up at him, and say, “Hi, Jesus.” And he will take me by the hand and lead me to the same place he used to take David to. That quiet place where the two of us can be alone so he can give me rest and refresh my soul. That place where I lie down and completely relax because I trust my Good Shepherd. He knows what’s best for me, loves me deeply, and cares for my every need because I’m his special concern.
I need to be more like King David as I celebrate the birth of the Good Shepherd who only wants to take me to lush pastures and lead me to refreshing water.
Time to stop what I’m doing, grab my Bible and my journal, and spend an hour with my Good Shepherd.
Questions: Have you lost sight of the Shepherd’s goodness in trying to celebrate his birth? What are some ways you have discovered that you can pause to let him lead you to your place of rest and refreshment?