Often, we relegate these words [Psalm 23 ] to be read only at funerals. However, the reference to the “shadow of death” is not a reference to the dead but to the living. We are the ones who are walking through this dark, shadowy valley … But the psalmist, the prophet, and the Gospel of Matthew all echo the same promise: Emmanuel, God with us. …
God offers us not only the light of Christ but also the lights of unity, support, care, and comfort found in the wonderful gift of the church—the people of God.
May God give us peace through our days, and may Christ’s light burn brightly through our care and service to those in need.
—Todd Outcalt, Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness (Upper Room Books, 2018)
Who might need your supportive light to remind them of Emmanuel, God with us? Join the conversation.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
“The people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned.”
Prayer for the Week
Emmanuel, God who is with us, help me remember you are near every day of the year.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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