Psalm 23

~A Homily~

This world seems built upon relationships.  Knowing people, interacting with them. I would even go so far to say that some of us have had a deeper relationship with someone. I had a serious boyfriend in high school. At first it was all new to me. But then I got to know him and for a while it was nice.  If you have  had that person in your life, or you do now, I want  you to think about them and the relationship you had.

Did you meet God, before you started a relationship with him. Did he call you up and say,  “hey I love you and no matter what, I will die for you!”  Wow that is a lot to put on a person right away. Most times someone would say, lets get coffee right?  But that isn’t what God did. Before you were born He  was going to have a relationship with you. So I ask myself why? I mean if you think about God, he is God. “God the Father is God the author-the originator of all that exists. God the Son, is our savior is the God the artist, the Creator of all the exits. God the Holy Spirit is God the agent who presents these facts to both my mind and my spiritual understanding so that they become both real and relative to me as an individual,” From W. Keller, A Shepherd looks at Ps. 23.

How can someone have a relationship with God? W. Phillip Keller says, “A mere mortal becomes a cherished object of divine diligence.” A cherished object. Not a friend, or someone new to meet, but someone cherished. Does God really do that?  Does he hold us in such high value? 

Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

I feel in love with those words when I was younger. I mean it could have been because I felt so fancy saying thou, and leadeth and preparest,,  I mean no one talks like that, specially at a young age. But I would read this book over and over again. I proudly stood in church as the pastor spoke it over me at my confirmation. True it is one of the longer confirmation verses, but I love it.  🙂 I hadn’t really thought about my confirmation verse for quite some time. However, as I have been taking theology classes, I continue to see one theme. God’s relationship, which is so thoughtfully written in Psalm 23.  So I asked myself what is my relationship with God?

Mine is probably different than yours. Mine is like I am running this really long race. I can pace myself for a while. But then I start running faster and faster, and as I run I realize I am lost. I took a wrong turn. So I stop and I break down. I ask God for help. He being the loving father he is;  brushes me off, points me in the right direction and I am running again. I feel pretty good. I know where I am going and I start to run fast and faster. But then I forget to breathe I freak out and take  a wrong turn. What I do do, I break down I ask God for help and he helps me.  This process continues. This is a unstable relationship. I am not Trusting God, I ask and wait for him to answer me. Instead I need to change.

Sometime my computer won’t work,  so I turn it off. Normally once turned back on it works. Sometimes it is just a little problem like refreshing the page. I am sure you have all done this once. If I restore  my computer it deletes everything. It is like I am starting over. That is what I need to ask God to do. Not a refresh, but a restore. I don’t want to continue to be asking him for help, and just retiring my relationship.  I want him, but more importantly I need him to restore my soul.

In John Eldrege’s book Walking with God it says, “God has something in mind for yo. He is deeply and personally committed to restoring humanity. Restoring you. He had a specific man or woman in mind when he made you. By bringing you back to himself through he work of Jesus Christ he has established relationship with you. An now, he is up to his restoring you.”  Isaiah 53:6 says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray,  each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

So what do you do know? What do I do?  For me, it was time to talk to God. It is time to Trust God. To see him as the shepherd, and know that his ways are true. Psalm 53:13 says “For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God  in the light of life.” Trusting God is no better than the example in verse 4, “Yea thou I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I will free no evil.” Why? Because through God it isn’t fear it is experiences. I can live knowing, God will always be by my side.   You have the decisions today to decide if you are going to refresh or restore your relationship with God.

I am going to read Psalm 23 again. As you have made your discussions, I know want you to clear your mind of previous relationships. Only think about the God of the universe and how he much he cares for you and  loves you!

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23.

Amen.

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