Last week was difficult. We saw tragic violence in the Boston bombings, reminding us that danger lies all around us. The violence is senseless and undiscerning, which makes it especially tragic. It is designed to scare us and reinforce the idea that the world is a dangerous and deadly place. It reminds us that even on our best days, we have very little control.
It was a remarkable act of grace that our lectionary text this past Sunday just happened to be Psalm 23:
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 right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint 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/
my whole life long.
Maybe it is by grace alone that we are bluntly confronted with the antidote to our fear. The Lord is our Shepherd who leads us on the right paths. May we have the ears to hear his voice.