My Shepherd, you supply my need;
most holy is your name.
In pastures fresh you make me feed,
beside the living stream.
You bring my wand'ring spirit back
when I forsake your ways,
and lead me, for your mercy's sake,
in paths of truth and grace.
When I walk through the shades of death,
your presence is my stay;
one word of your supporting breath
drives all my fears away.
Your hand, in sight of all my foes,
does still my table spread;
my cup with blessings overflows,
your oil anoints my head.
The sure provisions of my God
attend me all my days;
oh, may your house be my abode
and all my work be praise.
Here would I find a settled rest,
while others go and come;
no more a stranger or a guest,
but like a child at home.
We gathered in joy just a few Sundays ago to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord. Easter hymns, Easter flowers, Easter attire--we dressed up everything for this big day. Still in the season of Easter, we are sorting out what this profound news means in our daily lives.
Like some of the ancient Jewish expectations of Messiah, we may wish that Easter would erase all trials and bring to life a utopian perfection that spares us from pain and longing. In Easter, however, God's choice is to redeem.
Thus, the good shepherd is with us, not merely as a promise, but as one who walks with us, guides us to nourishing pasture, and stands with us in the midst of adversity. Isaac Watts, among the greatest hymnists in English, penned this hymn based on Psalm 23. From verse 1: "You bring my wandering spirit back when I forsake your ways, and lead me, for your mercy's sake, in paths of truth and grace."