Sunday, January 5, 2014

Our Favorite Verses: The Lord is My Shepherd

Psalm 23

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.

    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness

    for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell
 in the house of the Lord

1 Corinthians 11

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for[e] you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[f] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

Did you ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?

Starting a series on “favorite” Bible passages. I really want to hear from YOU all what your faves are and why? What does this verse mean to you?

And if you are interested in a Bible reading plan...many people start the new year with some resolutions...i have reading plans to read thru either the New Testament or the whole Bible in 1 year!

Psalm 23, most people's favorite, even younger folks who have not grown up in a church like this one for funerals especially. But it is more than a reading for funerals.! there is so much here in these few verses. It is full of hope for every day.

A Shepherd's rod was to ward off predators..a wolf or whatever, and the staff was for guiding the sheep, directing them. The shepherd offers protection, guidance, and is always there. God with us—always!

When Jesus said I am the good shepherd, his listeners would have surely thought of this psalm. They were well educated in their scriptures and would probably have sung this psalm many times.

The reminder and assurance of this Psalm is that God is always with us, even in the darkest valley.

The psalm also speaks of God's provision. Preparing a table in the midst of enemies! “Sit at the table, have some nourishment to help you for the rest of your journey.” And the hospitality overflows!

God's provision is abundant. God's grace and mercy are abundant.

that's why we come to the Table.

Our NT lesson, Apostle Paul is teaching—scolding believers in Corinth. They were folks who do not seem have a worshipful attitude. They are putting themselves, their wants & desires ahead of their worship.
And he says “For I share with you as it was given to me....”
Reminding the people that we come not because of ourselves but because of Jesus, because of what the LORD said and did for each of us.

these are what we call the “Words of Institution” in the Communion liturgy. Very often you will hear exactly these words. I am a bit of a purist when it comes to liturgy, but have come to realize that story is important, people relate well to stories –that's why Jesus told them! and so I combine these words with the story from the Gospels, especially Luke in which he also uses the phrase 'in remembrance of me'

To remember-re-again, member-a part of-- means to recall, to put together again in your bring back and renew in your mind an image or images. To be mindful. Do this in remembrance of this recalling me, thinking of me, honoring me...Jesus said.
Years ago when I was first becoming a pastor, I had given my Aunt some of my sermons, and she was telling me how proud she was of me. And she gave me a ring, right off her finger. Saying “when you wear this, remember me!” and my first thought was, well you are my Aunt, I am not going to forget you! Then I realized she was talking about an older meaning of “remember me'. Meaning, keep me in your heart, pray for me!'

I think this is what Jesus was saying, keep me in your heart!

The Lord's supper,-Communion (with together) is the one of the purest ways we have to put Jesus first. We set aside several minutes to quietly pray, meditate, with some music playing, or perhaps scripture being read....and we serve each other...isn't that a beautiful thing? Isn't it just what Jesus told us?

Isn't it a mystery? The bread which is broken makes us whole....and drink which is poured out refills and renews us?

What if we treated our Bible like we couldn't get along without it?
What if we used it to receive messages to stay connected?
What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being turned off because Jesus already paid the bill.

Let's make 2014 the year we renew our faith regularly. Let's make this year the best we've ever had, because we are connected –to God thru the Bible and prayer, and to each other. 

No comments:

Post a Comment