Shepherd and King

This morning, read Psalms 23 and 24. The Lord who is my shepherd is also the King of glory. Imminence and transcendence jammed right together.

Psalm 23 is one of the psalms most focused on the reader. So much “me” and “I”. (No wonder we like it so much.) It is such a powerful reminder that God, from the beginning of His relationship with us, in the Old Testament when David only knew him as One, has been a caring God. Our well-being, both inner and outer, matters to God. He is tender and compassionate. And he cares for me. Not just humanity en masse, not in some way that puts the needs of the many over the needs of the few. He cares for each one, and for you. And I can’t hear that “for me” and “for you” without hearing Martin Luther drill into my head, the sacrifice of Christ is for you.


Slap that right up next to Psalm 24, which is so totally focused on God, in such a jubilant way. I can’t read this psalm without hearing Handel’s rendition, which I first sang when I was fourteen in church choir with my grandpa. I imagine singing that, in a thousand languages, at Jesus’ return. You can’t get any more God-focused than that. But what I love about it is that it’s not in any way that’s negative toward us. It’s not “God you’re so awesome and we’re so small and lame,” or “God you’re so awesome and I’m so sinful.” It’s just “God you’re so awesome and that’s so awesome!” That’s how worship of God is meant to be. That’s how it’ll be when we’re totally free from sin. That’s how it is when we confess and repent. That’s why we start our services with repentance. God is awesome and that is just awesome, and that is what our freedom from sin is for: to party at that party.


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