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Fourth Tuesday

LISTEN

READ
Psalm 23

CONTEMPLATE
Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now. 

Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.

Psalm 23
1 The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
2 He provides me rest in rich, green fields
    beside streams of refreshing water.
    He soothes my fears;
3 He makes me whole again,
    steering me off worn, hard paths
    to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.
4 Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
    I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
    near with Your protection and guidance,
    I am comforted.
5 You spread out a table before me,
    provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
    filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
6 Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
    where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
    in Your house forever.

Psalm 23 is a psalm of David. Before being anointed king, David lived as a shepherd. When Samuel came for the sons of Jesse, David wasn’t with them all because he was out in the fields tending to the sheep, doing his job. David understands what it takes to be a good shepherd and to care for a flock well and recognizes what a Good Shepherd we have in God.

In David’s day, a shepherd was not just there to make sure the sheep didn’t wander. A shepherd was there to protect their sheep from wild animals or thieves. A shepherd protected their flock. Put themselves in harms way in order to make sure they could live. Shepherds cared for the sheep’s most basic needs as well, providing food and water and shelter.

God’s provision of his people holds the same heart of a good shepherd. Caring for them, tending to their wounds, providing for their needs and even blesses His flock. God isn’t just a shepherd but he is the Good Shepherd. In the gospel of John, Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd as well. The Good Shepherd’s care for us is taking care of our souls, our most inward beings. As David writes, this care is for refreshment and renewal of us. It’s almost like a cleaning out of our stuff to keep making more room for him. For the one who soothes our fears, fills our cups again and again with His grace. The more room we make for Jesus to take space in, the more we can become like him, extending that grace to them as well. To be able to see others the way Jesus does and care for them, meeting them right where they are.

PRAY
Discerner of hearts, you look beneath our outward appearance and see your image in each of us. Banish in us the blindness that prevents us from recognizing truth, so we may see the world through your eyes and with the compassion of Jesus Christ who redeems us. Amen.

WRITE and DISCUSS

  1. Where have you seen Jesus as your Good Shepherd in your life?
  2. How have you been able to cultivate a practice of confession over the last few weeks?