The First 15

Monday June 10, 2024

by Jan Davis

Today is Monday, June 10 and we are studying what the Bible says about shepherds and sheep.

Opening Prayer

In the morning, I come to this quiet place and listen for the voice of my Shepherd. I calm my scattered thoughts and slow my breath. I dwell in safety under the Shepherd’s thoughtful eye and loving care. He watches over my comings and goings, guides me to places of peace in a busy day, and leads me to discover the joy of a Sabbath heart. Amen.

Scripture Reading

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:1-6 (RSV)


During the summer we will slow down to enjoy a lengthy reflection on a beloved Psalm – Psalm twenty-three. The summer season is an opportunity for us to join together, seek a Sabbath heart and discover the inner peace and soulful rest God desires for us. The beginning words of Psalm twenty-three, “The Lord is my shepherd,” summarize the Psalm in its entirety and summarize our summer theme in its entirety as well. The Lord is our shepherd. God is the one who protects us and guides us. God watches over us like a shepherd watches over a valuable flock. He cares for us.

Psalm twenty-three was written by David. When David thought about God and his relationship with God, he used the image of a shepherd and his sheep. David understood this metaphor in a unique way, having been a shepherd himself. He paints an intimate picture of a personal relationship with the divine God of the universe. A shepherd lives outdoors with his flock experiencing the heat of the day, the cold of the night and the changes in weather. A shepherd is everything to the sheep’s wellbeing – he is guide, caregiver, healer and protector. That is what God is for us.

David calls God more than “a” shepherd or “the” shepherd. He calls God “my shepherd.” What a sweet reminder that we can claim God as our personal shepherd. We can find great comfort and security in the thought that God cares for us like a shepherd cares for his sheep. God’s role as our shepherd is one of loving concern. His presence provides everything we need. With him we will lack for nothing. Abiding in him provides all that is essential to life, peace, well-being and joy.

Ask: How might God want me to understand his role as Shepherd in my life? Where might he want to lead and guide me today?

Pause and Pray

Closing Prayer

Holy Lord God, you are the Shepherd of my soul. I have everything I need as I dwell in your loving presence. Lead me to the joy of green pastures and the peace of still waters. Remind me to stop and rest throughout my day and appreciate the little blessings you provide. As I go about my comings and goings, remind me that you are there to provide companionship, comfort and care. I am not alone, you are with me, guiding my steps to faithfully journey the good paths you have prepared for me. Amen.

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The First 15

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