Recently I received a gift – a cross with the words of the 23rd Psalm written on it. It is a wonderful daily blessing.
For David, The Lord is my Shepherd speaks of an intimate relationship with God. It’s an affirmation of who is his personal shepherd, who he owes and gives his allegiance to, who he belongs to, who loves him just as he is and who calls him back into close relationship and reminds him to return to his calling. David says my shepherd, asserting that even if God is shepherd to no one else, God is Shepherd to me, God cares for me and God watches over me.
As Lay Servants, we all begin with the questions – “Who is my Shepherd?” “What is my calling?” We need to see and claim our personal place as God’s precious child open to guidance and nurture by the Shepherd.
Especially now, with so many voices competing for our attention, it’s easy to forget “Who is my Shepherd?” “Who is worthy of my allegiance?” “Who is the Lord of my life?” “What is my calling?”
The Psalm goes on to say … He provides me with green pastures -- there’s an abundance of resources available to help us live into our calling as Lay Servants. Check out the website https://www.greatplainsumc.org/laity to see information about Lay Servant Ministry as well as the latest information on upcoming classes. The still waters of daily devotion bring a soothing quietness. Our gratitude for the gifts God lavishes upon us, brings refreshment and healing to our souls. In the quietness of daily devotion we can hear God call our name, we can recommit to follow where God leads us.
At first the Psalm is one of an intimate relationship with God however it shifts in tone as David wrestles with his feeling of distance from God. David has lost his way; he’s forgotten who he is. But then, he remembers, God is faithful, God has protected him in the past, God has set before him a royal banquet, God has anointed him with oil and his cup has overflowed with abundance. David calls on God to remember God’s promises and David recommits himself to again follow the Shepherd.
We too, find that our faith journey has times of deep intimacy and times when God may seem distant. The Psalm reminds us God is always present, even when we don’t feel God’s presence. We can trust God’s promise – I am with you always. God is always there walking with us.
“Who is my Shepherd?” “Who am I following?” “What is the Shepherd calling me to do?” Let’s each revisit those questions again this fall as we sign up to take a class and fill out and submit our Annual Report to our Church Conference.
Check the conference webpage https://www.greatplainsumc.org/lsmtraining for currently scheduled upcoming classes and check back often for future additional classes that will be scheduled.
-- Esther Hay, Blue River District Director of Lay Servant Ministry.