Psalm 23 places us in a humbling position. To proclaim that “the Lord is my shepherd” is to proclaim that I am in need of a leader. It means that I believe that I cannot lead myself to eternal life. It is a confession of my own weakness.
The Christian faith is unique in the religions of the world because it claims that we cannot get ourselves to eternity. This places us in a position of need. Many people struggle with this. We want to think that we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. We want to believe that we are strong and brave and unstoppable. We want to believe that we are capable of anything. Yet, Psalm 23 reminds us of the truth. The Lord is my Shepherd. He leads. He guides. He gets us to eternal life.
Luther said it this way in the explanation to the Apostle’s Creed: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.” In other words, I need a Shepherd to lead me.
Lord, I need you. Thank you for Shepherding me through life to eternity. I can’t do it without you! In Jesus name, Amen.