You, LORD, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life. You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe. You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch. You honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows. Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will live forever in your house, LORD. Psalm 23
Word of Hope
For the past several years, I have had the honor of co-hosting the Irving Circle and friends’ Easter lunch. It has gradually grown, from twenty-something to thirty-something. This year, we had 36 people. My partner Carol does a huge amount of work, sending out invitations, managing the RSVPs, buying colored table cloths and decorations, arranging for the reservation of the clubhouse where we live, buying and baking ham, and usually preparing some other dish-to-pass. I help as much as I can, but usually get excused from much of the work due to the choir’s schedule during holy week. One of the group’s members creates place cards for each person. This year, she made beautiful crosses and placed them in boxes, each tagged with a name, and set at the assigned place at the table. Other group members came early, after going to the 9:00 service, to set up the tables and chairs (into one huge, long table), decorate, and warm up food for the huge Easter feast. Each person who attends brings food to share.
I love seeing everyone gathered around this table. There are so many different groups of conversation going on during the meal. Most of these conversations seem animated, and almost everyone is smiling. And yet, many have been through difficulties. Several have lost family members or partners within the last few years. Many of us have been disenfranchised from the churches of our childhood. Some are facing health challenges. Even so, the members of this group face the uncertainties of the future with hope and optimism.
After lunch, before we all clean up, we gather to have a group picture taken. I love having this gathering memorialized each year. As I look at the photos from years past, I see a group of individuals who have been tested by the challenges of life, but who gain strength from God’s love and kindness.
Thank you, generous and loving God, for looking after me, and recognizing when I need rest and refreshment. I feel your kindness and love, and I will live forever in your house.
Cathedral of Hope Member