November can often be a hard month. It can be a month of losses, starting with losing that precious hour of daylight in the evening when the clocks change. It is also the month of All Souls’ Day and Veterans’ Day and my late father’s birthday- he would have been 93 years old tomorrow, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. Yet November is also the month of Thanksgiving and homecoming, of love, friendship, and gratitude.
November is the month when I think many of us need a shepherd to lead and protect us most of all. So when Thursday’s daily office readings presented us with the 23rd Psalm, I felt the psalter singing me home.
My Shepherd is the Lord of Hope
For all my needs, my God provides;
In verdant fields God gives me rest,
By still waters are You my guide
Along the paths of righteousness;
For your Love’s sake my soul revives.
In wilderness or valley deep
My Shepherd’s voice I always hear.
No hand of evil troubles me
Although the stars be dimmed by fear
For death’s long shadow has no weight
While my Savior is ever near.
The guidance of the Lord of Love
Is comfort, salvation, and peace;
Before my foes I tremble not
For You bid me to rest and eat,
Attended by the Holy One
Whose love and mercies never cease.
My cup o’erflows with blessings, Lord,
My Shepherd knows my name;
With holy oil, You seal my heart,
Your mercy, bright within me, reigns;
When all my wandering days are through
Grace surely calls me home again.
Leslie Scoopmire is a retired teacher and postulant for the priesthood in the Diocese of Missouri. She attends Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, MO. She is seminarian-intern at Church of the Good Shepherd , Town and Country, Missouri, in the Diocese of Missouri, and tweets daily prayers and news of note @Scoopexplainsit. Her blog is Abiding in Hope.
Image: The Good Shepherd, Trinity Episcopal Church, Tulsa.