Easter 4 – Good Shepherd Sunday

According to the church year, we’re still in the season of Easter. This 4th Sunday is known to churches around the world and in diverse denominations as Good Shepherd Sunday.  We’ll be exploring the biblical theme of Jesus-as-shepherd, reading Psalm 23 (The Lord is my Shepherd…), and singing the beautiful hymn, My Shepherd Will Supply My Need. You might remember it was sung at the National prayer service after 9/11.

At first glance to the lyrics, you wonder how a hymn of confidence in God’s care will fall on the ears of someone going through a tough time–those times the bottom seems to drop out, the times that give rise to questions that don’t have satisfactory answers.  Yet those going through the dark time find this hymn both a comfort and an anthem.  An anthem?  Yes, because in some small way it draws a line and says, “the evil can come only so far — and no farther. The evil stops here.”   Sometimes it is when we are most stricken, that we are most able to recognize the value of holding on to something greater than ourselves.

Last December my brave and jovial brother in law succumbed to Lou Gehrig’s disease. To those who were around my brother in law, it seemed that his faith developed as the disease progressed, and when he could express himself he would say, “everything’s gonna be all right” and when writing got hard for him he would shorten it to ETGBAR.

I prayed daily that he would be healed but the course of the disease hastened onward; the average duration is 2-5 years from diagnosis to death; for my brother in law, it was about a year.  The previous Christmas he had gone skiing with his family including his three teenaged sons, and he died a few days before the next Christmas.

Throughout last year the scripture that lodged in my mind was Psalm 23. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…. though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for thou art with me….thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me….surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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About katiekind

Enjoying the second half of life. I have three sons who are the apples of my eye and a wonderful husband of 35 years--those are the important things. Long ago, out of the blue, I became a Christian. It was something I never planned on, but what joy it has been. I do website development and I like to read and garden and paint and I love beauty and truth.
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One Response to Easter 4 – Good Shepherd Sunday

  1. I am so very incredibly sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. Our Father is also currently battling ALS so we feel your pain and it is a HORRIBLE disease that we must now very quickly put all our energy and effort into finding a cure for IMMEDIATELY! He has been officially diagnosed and has been given 3-5 years to live but has already been quickly deteriorating.

    We have started a FaceBook page ourselves and a store in support of ALS and will be making monthly donations to the ALS Society from the store proceeds. We need to find a cure FAST! Please help us spread the word.

    http://facebook.com/SwensonFamilyStore

    Sincerely,
    The Swenson Family

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