“The King of Love My Shepherd Is” (ELW 502)
1 The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
and he is mine forever.
2 Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.
3 Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me,
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing, brought me.
4 In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear Lord, beside me,
thy rod and staff my comfort still;
thy cross before to guide me.
5 Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thine unction grace bestoweth;
and, oh, what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!
6 And so, through all the length of days,
thy goodness faileth never.
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house forever.
We lack everything, don’t we? The premise of most of our daily life is about how much we lack. We lack money. We lack connection. We lack security. We lack good habits. And, boy, do we lack time!
It is so hard to believe it when Jesus promises to provide all we need—especially when the computer is slow, the car transmission just blew, and the toilet paper aisle is empty in every store. But Jesus’ promise of abundant life was never that our lives would be teeming with commodities but, rather, that life would be enough for joy.
I’ll admit I’ve never quite learned to be content with this hymn’s “nothing lack.” But I have experienced it in moments. In a moment when my baby laughs. Or in a conversation with a friend that just won’t end. Or at a campfire when the warmth is enough to sing the chorus one more time.
In those moments “I nothing lack [because] I am his and he is mine forever.”
Shepherd, teach me that I am yours and show me that you are mine. Break into my life through moments that remind me that I lack nothing because you are enough for me. Amen.