The Lord is my Shepherd
I pricked up my ears last Sunday morning when Jesse began the service with “The Lord is my Shepherd”, because I had only just been meditating on that psalm in relation to our current position as a church. As we have very much in mind the process of saying goodbye to a much-loved pastor and seeking a new one, it is so good to know that God Himself is our pastor (pastor and shepherd are the same thing).
The LORD – Yahweh
The word used for God in Psalm 23 is the Hebrew YWHW, pronounced “Yahweh”. It is often printed in capitals as LORD in our bibles to show that it is different from other names used for God. When God introduced Himself to Moses from the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3, He declared Himself to be “I am” and gave His name as “Yahweh”, which means “He is”. The one who is our pastor and shepherd is the one who defines Himself with the verb “to be”. All being comes from Him. He has always been; He will always be. No one can be greater than He because all others by definition derive their being from Him. The One who was and is and is to come is our great Shepherd. He will not fail us. Twenty–five years ago He sent a man to pastor His church in SE Cornwall. He will send us the man we need to lead us into the next 25 years.
Trusting is active
I have just reread the book “Not the perfect church” that tells the story of GCC. It is so plain throughout that God was at work through all our struggles, bringing about His purposes and building His church. We can trust Him. But, brothers and sisters, this trust is not a passive thing. God worked most in our past when we sought Him most. He answered the most prayers when we prayed the most; He spoke most clearly when we spoke out most; He worked most when we launched out and risked most in His name. When our prayers were most desperate was when we most knew His guiding, shepherd’s hand.
’Tis Jesus the First and the Last, Whose Spirit shall Guide us safe home,
We’ll praise Him for all that is past, And trust Him for all that’s to come.
Yours in Christ,
Ian Thompson (Acting pastor)