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“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.” – Psalm 23.1

Many people can recite the 23rd Psalm.  It is perhaps the most easily recognized and universally popular of all the Judaeo/Christian scriptures.  It is a text often quoted at the end of life or at a graveside.  Psalm 23 is, however, a classic passage for who are daily making a discipleship journey–or as I look to say, people who daily are on mission with Jesus. But rather than look at it in its entirety, I want simply to focus on that introductory verse.

Obviously the Lord is the subject of the verse but is followed by a statement of relationship.  In fact, one of intimacy.  Shepherd has much rich meaning – guardian, guide, provider. The Psalmist goes on in the second sentence to make a statement of the Lord’s favor and perfection. – “I shall lack nothing.”

I am intrigued, however, by the personal pronoun my–a possessive one. Here is David describing the Lord of all the universe and he dares use the pronoun my. In this context it is really a pronoun of affection.

When my youngest daughter, Katie, was still basically an ankle-biter–often took it upon herself to affirm her Daddy.  She would stand and wrap her arms around my knees, squeeze hard and say, “Daddy, my Daddy.”  I cannot begin to tell you how much that gave me delight in being her “Daddy.”  And to others, she was declaring her particular connection to her Daddy.

The Lord of all the Universe invites us into just that kind of intimate, affectionate relationship.  Jesus uses the word “Abba” for his Father, which means literally, “Daddy.”

As we travel of the long and often challenging journey of discipleship, may we remember that we are loved beyond measure by our Daddy, and love Him just as deeply.  His love is our anchor.


My “little girl” Katie, now grown to be a Mom with her son Caleb–who although now three thinks of her as “Mommy, my Mommy.”

© 2015 by Stephen L Dunn
Permission is given to reprint this post as long as it is not included in material that is for sale, that it is reproduced in its entirety including the copyright notice, and that a link is provided to this blog.


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