Our devotional reading on the Fourth Sunday of Easter comes from the letter to parents in the Arch Book The Twenty-third Psalm.
1 Peter 2:19–25
Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life for us. He leads us to green pastures and sets us beside still waters, giving us all we need to support this body and life. He protects us from the evil one who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. As we come to the Lord’s house today, let us find rest in Him.
Psalm 23 is one of the best-known Bible passages. Most people can quote at least some of it. The poetry and imagery used in this song of praise make it a joyful, comforting passage. And while it’s appropriate to think of the Good Shepherd’s provision and protection, this psalm is best understood from the perspective of the sheep.
Today’s families don’t spend much time around sheep, so we know little about them. That’s okay, but there are two things to keep in mind as we read this psalm. First, sheep have an undeserved reputation for lack of intelligence. They are, in fact, nearly as smart as pigs. However, sheep are social creatures and are easily led away. They would follow the pack over a cliff if the lead sheep were to go that way. Second, sheep have poor vision. They can’t see very far ahead of themselves.
Why is this important to us? God uses sheep in Scripture because we are like them. We tend toward a pack mentality and are easily led astray. As this psalm teaches, we need our Good Shepherd to guide us away from harm and toward the safety of His grace and mercy.
We may have 20/20 vision, but we can’t see much beyond our own wants and desires. We can’t see the green pastures or still waters of our future. Only God knows what He has in store for us. Because we have faith in God the Son as our Good Shepherd, we can trust that He is our way to salvation and will protect us along the way.
Devotional reading is from the Arch Book The Twenty-third Psalm, page 16 © 2013 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.