Friday, July 13, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

THE CARING SHEPHERD
Psalms 23
"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me". (Psalms 23:4)
We live in the world, which gives us more tension and pressure. Meditating on the theme caring shepherd in psalm 23 gives us more comfort and delight. The caring and loving presence of Jesus empowers and strengthen us to confront our problems.
The caring shepherd teaches the lesson of kenosis.
In Israel the shepherd imagery is used to depict a King and Lord. David wrote this psalm instilling his experiences of caring and loving guidance of his 'great shepherd'. This whole psalm declares the provision and protection of great shepherd Yahweh. This psalm defines the relationship between the shepherd and sheep, highlighting the eagerness and concern of a shepherd towards his sheep. The Lord leads his sheep to green pastures and creates a flourishing life for his flock. He gives the water that provides refreshment and well being. The lord guides his flock to the path of righteousness. The staff and the rod denote the protective measures for the sheep showing the concern and kenotic willingness of the shepherd. Our lord is a caring shepherd. He cares us by his self-emptying sacrifice. On the cross we can see the exemplary example of a caring shepherd. Jesus said "I am the good shepherd" which states that, through my death I am anointed for the celebration of the life of whole creation The metaphor of sheep and shepherd teaches us the lessons of kenosis (self emptying).
The caring shepherd invites us to be in the celebration of relations.
In verses 6 psalmist takes a pledge that "surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life". This pledge of the psalmist echoes a great zeal to be a part of the worshiping community. The lord is a caring God for a community and He exists only in the community relations. The personal attachment with the shepherd leads the sheep to the responsibilities of the community empowerment and enforces him to be a part of the community life. The sheep must understand the provision and protection of Lord to enjoy the community life. . The psalmist celebrates his relations with the Lord and with the worshiping community, compelling him to be a medium to show mercy and grace .The caring God gives an awareness to the psalmist about the need of transform action to be channels of blessings.
Prayer:
Oh  Lord, help me to practice kenosis in my' life. Transform me as a channel of your blessings. Amen.
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
When we pour out ourselves into the service of God's people we will spread the fragrance of God's love.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church