John the Baptist’s prophecy is that Jesus would shine on those living in darkness and the shadow of death to guide our feet into the path of peace. Today we consider the power of the Good Shepherd guiding us into the path of stillness and restoration…
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Are you living in darkness today? Are you standing in the shadow of death? Many of you are. Many of you stand in the darkness or at the edge of darkness in your relationships or your lifestyle. The valley of the shadow of death affects us all in different ways.
Someone close to me just lost her grandmother suddenly. Many celebrate Christmas each year with the memories of loss of loved ones over the years. There is no preparation for death overshadowing your life. Grief overwhelms and leaves us unsettled and confused.
We need peace. We need comfort. We need to walk down that path where the Good Shepherd guides us by his rod and staff. There are still and quiet waters and green pastures to be found there. He restores our souls there.
There is no fear there. Even in the shadow of death. Even in the presence of darkness. Our Good Shepherd anoints us with oil and our cups overflow in his dwelling place. That’s the path of peace.
If you are enjoying trying to find that peace apart from Jesus, you will find an endless search. We can find temporary relief and temporary peace in the things of this world, yet only Jesus came to guide our steps into the path of peace. Jesus’ peace is eternal. When we follow him we never have to look anywhere else – ever again.
Will you follow Jesus toward the path of peace this Christmas?