March 21, 2010

Nazareth 23

Imagine Jesus IN Nazareth one Saturday afternoon, after their Synagogue meeting. Perhaps he's walking uphill near the cliffs. Perhaps he's looking down on some sheep in their pens, while he's reflecting on Psalm 23.

All that much we may have to imagine, but this much we do not. Whether he was six, seventeen, or twenty-nine years old, there must have been some Saturday(s) in Nazareth when they read and/or recited from Psalm 23. And Jesus absolutely must have reflected upon those words, both during and afterwards. And whether it came later that Sabbath, or some morning or evening time during the following week, Jesus - I'm almost certain of this - must have directed that Psalm towards His Father.

At some age, He directed everything to his Father. What better than Psalm 23?

He could have done this so simply. It might have gone something like this:

Father, You are my Shepherd. I've never wanted for anything, thanks to You, and I don't want for anything else, but for You. You make me lie down and rest with a full belly and a content heart, like a sheep in green pastures. You lead me peacefully during my day, to refresh myself in You, as if drinking from water. Father, You are my Soul. And Your righteousness is what You call me to walk in. Your leading is right, and You direct my paths all the day. This is for Your name's sake. Father, no matter what happens, I know that You walk with me. I have no fear of evil befalling me. Your discipline and lovingkindness are comforts to me. I am sure you would feed and take care of me even if I was somehow surrounded by enemies. You would lift up my head. You would fill up my cup. Father, you are the best thing I know, and your mercy to me is amazing. Your goodness and love is so present I know it will be here forever, with me. As long as I dwell with you, Father, and you dwell here with me, we Tabernacle together. And we will do so forever.

And ever...


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