Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved of
the Psalms, and it is perhaps also the most well-known of all the Psalms in the
bible. It is also a "classroom" of contemplative relationship and formation for
the life of an intercessor: "All the days of my life" (Psalm 23:6). In
John 10:10 Jesus says, "I came so that they might have life and have it
more abundantly." This 'life' is received and grows in the context of an
intimate, intense relationship with Jesus. He is both "the great Shepherd of
the sheep" (Heb. 13:20) and the "spotless, unblemished" (1 Pet. 1:19) "Lamb of
God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
I can't be an effective,
contemplative intercessor unless I allow myself to be shepherded, mentored and
formed by the Lamb. Jesus always leads as One who is himself led;
for, he is the One who is always led by the Spirit. He forms me to be like him,
"leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps" (1 Pet. 2:21).
It is about my 'becoming his completely' as he becomes my 'everything': "My
lover belongs to me and I to him" (Songs 2:16).
"The Lord is my shepherd" (Psalm 23:1)
now within me through his indwelling Spirit. As a contemplative
intercessor my life with Jesus is meant to be very personal and, hence,
relational. This strong relational bond forms as I learn to surrender to Jesus
and truly allow myself to led by him. More and more as I allow Jesus access to
every aspect of my life, "there is nothing I shall want" (Psalm 23:1). I
will come to want nothing else but him as I open myself for him to be my
fullness: "From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of
grace" (John 1:16). Doesn't Jesus assert, "I have come...to fulfill" (Mt.
5:17). I am called to a deep trust, surrender and dependence upon him for
everything for, "without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Jesus
promises me, "I am with you always" (Mt. 28:20); this trust and
surrender are imperative so I can "follow the Lamb wherever he goes"
Jesus continues to live the
mysteries of his life now from within my humanity, especially the Paschal
Mystery of his dying, rising, ascending and sending forth of the Holy Spirit.
His life is always one that is handed over: "I am the good shepherd. A good
shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (John 10:11). He always leads as
the One who is led by the Spirit to lay down his life for others in obedient
love to the Father's will.
what situations do I struggle most to follow the shepherd?
there times when I question whether Jesus is 'with me always?
Any scripture from the text; Rev. 21:3
TIME TO EXPIATE"
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