Lately funerals I have attended fell into two categories:
- I was officiating
- I was a member of the grieving family
Either way I was near the front and actively involved in the procedures. As a member of the family I didn’t always focus on all that was being said. My own thoughts and remembrances intruded quite often.
This particular funeral I came as a friend of the family. But I sat in the back. My daughter and her baby also attended and we chose to sit where a quick getaway was possible.
Sitting there listening to the messages and thoughts being shared I have to admit I kind of tuned out a bit. Lost again in my own memories of the deceased. I heard the speaker mention Psalm 23 and the familiar words began to scroll…..
MY Shepherd! Personal and up close. He knows my name, address, likes and dislikes. My giftedness and failings. He belongs to Me. I most assurdedly belong to HIM!
SHEPHERD! The one upon whom the entire existence of the sheep depends. He feeds, waters, medicates, shears, guides, protects, loves, and watches over. He CARES for His sheep.
SHALL NOT WANT! If I need it He provides it.
And so on.
In that style of the classic African American preacher Brother Dennis reminded us that the almost too familiar words of the Psalm are simply dripping with meaning for us today.
It was a promise the deceased held closely and dearly. It is a Psalm full of promise that we who still live should come to grips with on a daily basis.
Embrace the words. Memorize the words. Let the words live in us.
Read Psalm 23 again today. But do it slowly. Maybe even diagram the sentences.
Really look at the carefully chosen and crafted words.
I will DWELL in GOD’S HOUSE — For all eternity!