psalm 23




John 21: 15-19 – Jesus and Peter
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’
         He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’
         Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’  16 A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’
         He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’
         Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ 17 He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’
         Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’
         Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’  19 After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’


Psalm 23: The Divine Shepherd
A Psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters.
3     he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths.
    for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.

Isaiah 40:10-12
10 See, the Lord God comes with might,
    and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him
    and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms
and carry them in his bosom
    and gently lead the mother sheep.
Ezekiel 34:11-16: God, the True Shepherd

11 For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep and will sort them out. 12 As shepherds sort out their flocks when they are among scattered sheep,[a] so I will sort out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them into their own land, and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strays, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

Matthew 18:12
What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?

John 10: 1-6, 11-18: The Good Shepherd
“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.”
         “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father.”
           “And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

Revelation 7:16-17
16 They will hunger no more and thirst no more;  the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat, 17 for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,  and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Lenten Reflection Day 32 (Mar 25): FOLLOW ME (Psalm 23).

SONG: Follow Me by Uncle Kracker

POEM: Reina Maria Rodriguez: Memory of Water (excerpt):  whatever one does the others all follow, watching from the corners of their eyes …

QUOTE: Albert Camus: Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead. Walk beside me… just be my friend.

Lenten Reflection Day 31 (Mar 24): OVERFLOW (Psalm 23).

SONG: Living in the Overflow ft. Charity Gayle and Joshua Sherman:  h

POEM: Catherine Bowman: Story of a Tree (excerpt):  All around us the underground world overflows with love. Season after season you return, sap rising up from your roots, unfinished, always becoming. I defended against love / for as long as I could / until I couldn’t.

QUOTE: Victor Hugo: Gradually, they began to talk. Overflow succeeded to silence, which is fullness.

Lenten Reflection Day 30 (Mar 23): PREPARE (Psalm 23).

SONG: Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord from Godspell

POEM: Edwin Markham: Preparedness:  For all your days prepare, And meet them ever alike: When you are the anvil, bear— When you are the hammer, strike.

QUOTE: Douglas Adams: Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.


Lenten Reflection Day 29 (Mar 22): COMFORT (Psalm 23).

SONG: Comfort Song by Laura Woodley Osman

POEM: Joy Ladin: Comfort Animal (excerpt): … You want to cry? Cry about that. Who do you think created / the animals to whom you turn for comfort, dogs, miniature horses, monkeys, ferrets, hungers you know how to feed, fears you know how to quiet? I form them, fur them, it’s my warmth radiating from their bodies, my love that answers / the love you lavish upon them. Your deserts and desolations are highways I travel, smoothing your broken places, arranging stars and constellations / to light your wilderness. Sometimes I play the shepherd; sometimes I play the lamb …

QUOTE: Veronica Roth: Sometimes, the best way to help someone is just to be near them.

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