Faithlife Sermons

My Shepherd

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“There is an old story of two men hiking in Wales. They came across a boy in the mountains keeping his sheep. The travelers talked with him about shepherding, and the conversation went to Psalm 23. One of the men told the boy, “Think of the five fingers of your left hand. Let each word stand for one finger. You can meditate on Psalm 23:1 by grasping each finger, one at a time, with your right hand.” They showed him how to do it. The man grabbed his thumb and said, “That stands for ‘The.’” The index finger was ‘Lord,’ and they talked about who the Lord was. The middle finger stood for ‘is’ – present tense, right now. The fourth finger was ‘my.’ And the little finger stood for ‘shepherd.’

The following year the men returned on another hiking trip, and this time they stopped at a small wayfaring house for a cup of tea. On the table was a picture of the very boy they had met a year before.

‘Yes,’ said the woman, ‘that was my son. He died last winter in a storm. He fell down a cliff and lay there a long time. Only later did we find him.’

Then she said, ‘There was something strange about it, though, which we’ve never understood. When we found his body, his right hand was grasping the fourth finger of his left hand.’

‘Yes,’ said the men, ‘we can explain that.’ And they told the mother what had happened the previous year. The boy, in griping his finger, was simply reminding himself, ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’

A wedding ring on the fourth finger reminds us of the personal and exclusive relationship we have with the one we love.” (From Robert J. Morgan, The 23rd Psalm, pg. 3-4).

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