This psalm is so familiar in our churches and in our culture that it is hard to read it without bringing considerable baggage. It is the sort of biblical excerpt that has found its way onto needlepoint pillows, T-shirts, and wall hangings sold at greeting card shops. If we aren’t...
Give thanks to God for all the times your Good Shepherd has led and guided and fed and provided for you. What is God calling you to know and do in response to this powerful passage?
The two readings from the Hebrew scriptures focus on the life of David. In First Samuel, the prophet is sent to anoint the next king of Israel. God chooses David not because of outward appearance but because of his heart. David is not perfect, nor is his life always easy. Psalm 23 declares David’s trust in God in good times and bad times. Just as Samuel has anointed David with oil, so does the Lord anoint him. The New Testament readings both employ images of light and darkness. Ephesians instructs us to live as children of light, not darkness. In John, Jesus heals a blind man and brings him from darkness into light. Some religious leaders protest because although their physical eyes can see, their spiritual vision is darkened.
Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13. How often do you judge others by outward appearances or worldly successes? How can you “look upon the heart” to judge leaders in your community?Read Psalm 23. When have you experienced Jesus’ presence with you in the wilderness?Read Ephesians 5:8-14. How does God’s light help you persist through struggles within yourself or in the world around you?Read John 9:1-41. What questions does Jesus ask you? How do your questions of Jesus help you understand him?
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