In this first week of advent, we celebrate hope. The hope that our Savior, Jesus Christ, will be born. It is the hope that David wrote about in Psalm 23: 1 The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. 2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake. 4 Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.
This is one of my favorite Psalm because it ties in one of my favorite themes: that our Lord, Jesus Christ, gives us our hope and will guide us to where we need to go. And I know that it is very hard to see that hope that Jesus brings to us when we look out onto this world: a world where people are losing their homes as the fire continues to burn; a world where families are being torn apart at our nation’s border; and a world where some of our leaders use their power to bring hate upon God’s people. It is hard to feel that Jesus is guiding us down the right path when we feel sorrow for the pain that is put upon ourselves, our family, and our world. And as we go through this time as a Region: where some may find it hard to see the hope for our future; we all need to remember that Jesus is the good shepherd. He is the shepherd who King David proclaims that will give us no fear as we walk through the darkest valleys in our lives. He is our Lord who will calm the storms in our world and will find rest for our souls. For he is coming! Jesus, our Savior is coming once again! And as we stay faithful, Jesus, our shepherd, will continue to give us hope as he guides us through this time of questioning and restructuring.
Will you please pray with me:
God, we thank you for this week: a week where we are given hope that your Son will come once again and be our Good Shepherd. A shepherd who will lead us along the right paths and guide us through the darkest valleys in our lives. Though we may feel pain and sorrow alongside those who are hurting in this world, let us find comfort in your Son, Jesus Christ. Allow the hope to open our minds for the future of our Region, our communities, and our world as we continue to shape it your loving image. For it is in your Son’s name that we pray, Amen.
CYF State Officer and Regional Church Council Member