Every morning when I ride the bus to work, I settle in my chair, close my eyes and silently recite the 23rd Psalm.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…
This prayer is so comforting and I say it to clear away any workday jitters that might be gnawing at me. If I can walk the Valley of the Shadow of Death without fearing any evil, then I think can handle anything at the office.
And instead of worrying about my health or my future or anything the other several dozen other things I fret about, I turn to the Lord who resoreth my soul and leadeth me in the paths of righteousness.
Today is Easter Sunday, the perfect time to contemplate spiritual restoration and righteous paths as we celebrate resurrection and rebirth.
Easter wasn’t a big deal for me when I was a kid. I was much more enthusiastic about Christmas and all the great presents that came along with it. Back then Easter meant little more than some new clothes, chocolate bunnies, and a baked ham dinner with my family.
Now I’m completely fed up with the shameless commercialism that has leeched on to Christmas, so I appreciate Easter’s spiritual experience.
I’m feeling a touch of the holiday sadness as I think of the loved ones who are no longer here, but then that’s hard to avoid if you’ve put in enough time on this planet. I think celebrating renewal and remembering those we have lost actually compliment each other. We’re moving forward without abandoning our roots.
I Tell You the Truth
I went to Trinity Church on Wednesday to hear the good word from Father Mark. At the opening of the service we praised God, saying in unison “His mercy endures forever.” Those are very reasurring words in a world that seems terribly short on anything resembling mercy.
During his sermon Father Mark talked about Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.
We’re all susceptible to some pretty ugly emotions and when we betray Jesus, when we turn away from unconditional love in favor of some emotional version of 30 pieces of silver, we really betray ourselves.
And, as Father Mark always points out, after Judas leaves the Last Supper, he goes out into darkness. We want to stay in the light so we can find those paths of righteousness.
The last line of the 23rd Psalm says “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
I love those words, but they also make me think about my own actions. It’s not just a matter of goodness and mercy following me—they must also proceed me. You just don’t see the light; you have to be the light.
And just like God, our mercy must endure forever. This is a good day to start.