(January 16, 2021) Maureen McQuillan shares…
In these trying days of the worldwide covid-19 pandemic, its associated troubles, and regular TV bad news, it’s great to relax. Even to take a short break away from home driving around the refreshing open countryside minutes from where we live and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Often, I spot sheep relaxing round the paddocks, those fleecy animals that cause me to reminisce about them, about shepherds and David’s refreshing Psalm 23.
Some folks have wrongly associated Psalm 23 with death … often Robert has its reading requested by non-churchgoers at funerals. But I see it as an encouraging psalm about life – a good life here and now not just in eternity, filled with the love and kindness of God!
David had been a shepherd in his youth. Although he’s talking about God removing doubts and fears, I see verses two to four of this psalm as reflecting on his own responsibility to ensure the flock under his care would be at rest, need of food and water supplied and, when frightening disturbing threats came along, his promptness to defend using shepherd’s weapons (and muscles as in 1Samuel 17:34-36a).
A thoughtful and fearless shepherd, David knew to care for these emotional animals (Yes, not only are humans emotional… a 2009 report published in Animal Welfare describes sheep are capable of experiencing a whole range of emotional feelings from fear to anger, despair, boredom and happiness). (more…)