READINGOld Testament: Genesis 49:29-50:14
Psalms: Psalms 97, 99, 100, 94, 95
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Gospel: Mark 8:1-10
Evening Psalms: 94,95
DEVOTIONAL“For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” Psalm 95:7
Getting lost can be far too easy. This past fall, I was at a cross country practice where, instead of running one of our normal routes, we ran at the site of a future race course so that we could become more familiar with the trail. Having been on the course before, I decided to take the lead with my group of runners, feeling very confident that I knew the way.
Unfortunately, however, no more than five minutes after we began running, we discovered that I had taken the wrong path at a split in the trail several hundred feet back. I was demoted as leader and a teammate, who was also thoroughly confident in his knowledge of the trail, took my place. Not even ten minutes had passed when we again discovered that we had taken another wrong turn. Although we could have easily completed this course in less than half an hour, we spent the next hour literally running in circles as each member of our group somehow managed to get us lost. Eventually, we did make it back safely, and we couldn’t help but laugh at how long it had taken us to make it through such an easy course.
I thought of this story as I read Psalm 95 because I imagine we probably looked a lot like sheep without a shepherd that morning. Even though we all thought we knew the course, what my team really needed was someone to lead us who actually knew the way. I am so thankful that in life we have a Good Shepherd to guide our steps. Otherwise we’d probably end up like my running team that day, constantly making wrong turns and going in circles. But instead, we have a mighty God who faithfully leads us in the way of love and truth.
Thank you, Lord, for the guidance and love You show toward us as our Good Shepherd. May we be filled with Your peace this season as we remember the great love that was shown to us through the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.