SERMON TITLE: “The Lord Is My Shepherd”
SERMON TEXT: Psalm 23
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: April 26, 2020, at First UMC
In late February and early March, I explained to you that the word quarantine was related to the Latin word for 40. In Christian tradition, the 40 days of Lent have been a time of spiritual quarantine, a time to purify oneself of sin prior to the glorious celebration of Easter.
Well, since Easter arrived two weeks ago, we’ve now moved on to the 50-day season leading up to Pentecost, a holiday so named because of the Greek word for 50. Because this year’s season between Easter and Pentecost also includes the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, I thought it might be good for us to spend these 50 days thinking about how God’s resurrection of life includes not just Jesus’ body or ours, but also the body of our Mother Earth.
Last Sunday, we talked about how God produces an annual miracle: causing brown, dead-looking bulbs and seeds buried in the ground to burst forth to new life. At the end of the service, we went out in the church yard, blessed our garden, and planted some wildflower seeds for our church bees. Like Doubting Thomas who needed to put his hands in Jesus’ wounds, when we put our hands in the dirt of a garden, these miracles of agriculture teach us to believe in the resurrection of life.
Today, our earthy scripture is Psalm 23. I invite you to ponder this very familiar passage with me. As an Easter people living on this planet in the year 2020 in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, what does it mean for us to say, “The Lord is my shepherd”?