Because My Salvation is Intimately Connected to Yours

If we truly believe that we are the Body of Christ, that we are Jesus' hands and feet in the world, then it is our presence that serves as a reminder and the reality of God's presence to others. We embody and incarnate God in our lives and in the midst of our joys and sufferings. Today I reflected in my sermon on this reality--on our accountability to be the cornerstones, shepherds and sheep that God has made us to be. If we have ownership of our own Christhood (as we seek and serve Christ in all persons, including ourselves) than we are called to care for each other and further God's work in the world. The psalm for the day was psalm 23. After riffing on the story of the child who wondered aloud who this "Shirley" was who followed her all the days of her life, I decided to paraphrase the psalm for our congregation. This probably was much more meaningful within the context of the sermon--but several people asked me to post this after the service. So, this is my attempt at paraphrasing what I paraphrased while preaching extemporaneously...

A Jazz-like Riff on Psalm 23

The people of God are my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
They soothe my soul as they walk in Christ
These, the cornerstones and the Body bring me to peace,
and lead me beside quiet waters,

My soul is restored in the presence of my friends.
These, the children of God through baptism and the Eucharist, guide me in paths of righteousness for Jesus' sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,for each of you is Christ with me;
you shepherd my soul,and are a comfort to me.

God has invited us to the table and the Body of Christ gathers with me there.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness, love and Marilyn, Jim, Meghan, Bruce, John, Deidre and all of you--beloved children of God, will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of God forever. Amen.

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