Tuesday, October 6, 2020

October 6, 2020— Tuesday prior to Proper 23

Psalm 23—

The psalm for this coming Sunday, the well-known 23rd Psalm, also has sacramental imagery, as we are told that the LORD leads us beside still waters, restoring our souls, and leading us in the paths of righteousness.

Holy Baptism restores our souls; the Word of God leads us in the paths of righteousness. Later in the psalm, there is, again, the image of a feast being prepared for us who are righteous on account of being baptized into the name of Jesus.

By these words David illustrates God's care of his people; and to this our Savior refers to Himself when He says, “I am the shepherd of the sheep; the good shepherd,” (John. 10:11). He is the shepherd of Israel, and of the whole church in general: “Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, Thou who dost lead Joseph like a flock; Thou who art enthroned {above} the cherubim, shine forth!” (NAS Psalm 80:1), 

He is the shepherd of every particular believer; even the meanest is not below His awareness, “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs, and carry {them} in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing {ewes.}” (NAS Isaiah. 40:11).

We are sheep who have gone astray. Lost in the rebellion of sin we have become wayward sheep. Isaiah the prophet explains in Isaiah 53:6 “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

As the Good Shepherd Jesus rescues the sheep. He takes them into His fold, and then takes care of them, protects them, and provides for them, with more care and devotion than any shepherd can. He makes it his business to keep the flock.

Collect for Psalm 23 Lord Jesus Christ, shepherd of your Church, you give us new birth in the waters of baptism, you anoint us with oil, and call us to salvation at your table. Dispel the terrors of death and the darkness of error. Lead your people along safe paths, that they may rest securely in you and dwell in the house of the Lord now and forever, for your name’s sake.

Image of the Lost Sheep copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Collect for Psalm 23, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book for and by the Church Vol.II © 1995 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

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