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28 March, 2023

Pastor’s Viewpoint - March 21, 2023

During last Sunday’s service, the chosen Psalm was No. 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd”. This poetic, profound psalm is so well-known, it’s like an old friend.

It speaks of green pastures, quiet waters, refreshment of the soul and much more. Beautiful, comforting images.

No wonder it is often sung or read at funerals and other services.

The great Christian preacher and writer, Charles Spurgeon, called it: “the pearl of psalms; it’s sweetness and spirituality are unsurpassed”.

Although it’s certainly uplifting, it doesn’t only refer to lovely green pastures and soothing quiet waters. It also speaks of dark valleys and of adversities we might all face.

But through life’s ups and downs, we can turn to our loving God, our Shepherd. There is no valley, no matter how dark, how fearsome, how daunting, that we need to face alone.

The Lord our Shepherd will never leave us; He promises this, and His promises are abso- lutely real and true, as is His love.

Australian pastor and writer, Cameron Semmens, wrote 30 different versions of the 23rd Psalm. To give fresh insight into this beloved scripture, here are two.

Psalm 23 - That’s Love
“The Lord is my shepherd” — that’s protection.

“I shall not want” — that’s provision.

“He makes me to like down in green pastures” — that’s replenishment.

“He leads me beside the still waters” — that’s refreshment.

“He restores my soul” — that’s rebirth.

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness” — that’s guidance.

“For His name’s sake” — that’s glory.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” — that’s trial.

“I will fear no evil” — that’s trust.

“For You are with me” — that’s loyalty. “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” — that’s security.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” — that’s audacity.

“You anoint my head with oil” — that’s blessing.

“My cup runs over” — that’s abundance. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life” — that’s assurance. “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord” — that’s sanctuary.

“Forever” — that’s eternity.

The 23rd Psalm in 23 Words

“My shepherd Lord sustains, soothes, restores my soul. When darkness threatens, I’m fearless with God’s nearness. I’m lavished, chosen, blessed, now and forever.”

St Ambrose Memorial Anglican Church 

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