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All ancient people needed to hear was the word “shepherd” and they immediately got the meaning of Psalm 23. The shepherd was understood to be the channel of guidance to the source of life, peace, protection and happiness. The shepherd keeps one from wrong paths, wrong decisions and wrong choices. But, if one does make wrong choices it the shepherd who will bring us back home once again, welcoming us gladly for our safe return.

The twenty-third Psalm is a powerful message of hospitality. In the ancient world traveling strangers would be welcomed into citizen’s homes and treated with respect, honor and special care. To do less than that was to bring dishonor upon ones household.

Looking at just the first three verses of this passage as the twenty-first century church we can know that it is the Christ, our Shepherd, who welcomes us as his honored guest. Beside the quiet pools of still water we find our rest as we journey forward. We are restored, recharged, renewed and we have a chance to catch our breath.

Pause in the quiet and feel the divine presence right where you are. Let Jesus help you catch your breath. Your way will be clearer and the journey easier. The hospitality of the Christ/shepherd is the affirmation of new and perfect possibility for your tomorrow and tomorrow, just as it is your rest and comfort for today.

Jesus welcomes us all with divine hospitality and calls us to go and do likewise.

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows; you find me quiet pools from which to drink. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”         (Psalm 23: 1-3) The Message translation

Affirmation: “I catch my breath beside the still waters of the Christ. All makes sense now and my continued journey is blessed.”

Rev. Jefferson Beeker

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We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.

Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life. Please join us each Sunday at 5:30 PM in our Social Hall at First Christian Church, North Hollywood, CA for our Contemporary Celebration and Praise service. Come as you are and enjoy an hour of great music from our wonderful band and singers, inspiring messages and good fellowship. Those things in life that you have been seeking have also been seeking you. Now is a good time to receive them. We will lift one another to live exciting, abundant new lives of possibility and purpose.

Also, join me on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 PM for an hour of guided and silent meditation, reflection, affirmation and prayer. As always, we will share communion together. Everyone is welcome.

First Christian Church, North Hollywood, 4390 Colfax Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604. http://www.fccnh.org

Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker

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