A mosaic of a lamb made up of white, gold, and red tiles on an altar

When the Lord is our shepherd, we shall not want.

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.

Psalm 23:1–3

The Bible is full of shepherds. Moses encountered God in the wilderness before the burning bush while tending his father-in-law’s sheep. The young David was called in from the shepherd’s fields outside Bethlehem to be anointed by the prophet Samuel as king. Later, trying to escape King Saul, he found himself in the wilderness, a shepherd without a flock. The prophet Amos, too, was famously called by God from his work as a shepherd to prophesy to the Kingdom of Israel against great inequalities between the rich and the poor.

And here in Psalm 23, we are reminded that when the Lord is our shepherd, we shall not want. The word for want, haser, is closer in Hebrew to the word “lack.” The Psalmist impresses on us that, while we may not always have everything we want, God, in God’s tenderness, provides for our needs.

Like Moses before the Red Sea, we are led beside still waters after a time of chaos. Like David, to whom many of the Psalms are attributed, we are encouraged to feel the cool blades of tender, verdant grass beneath our feet — especially after a season of being on the run from danger. Like Amos, we are called perhaps to speak a hard but powerful word of justice, for “[God’s] name’s sake,” so that the way of righteousness is clear.

Like a vigilant shepherd who makes sure his flock is comfortable and well-fed, but also acting in discipline to lead us to repentance, the Lord provides for both external necessities and the inward journey of the soul. He then asks us to go and do likewise, creating safe havens for our neighbors who are experiencing fear or chaos, who are in danger, or who still, indeed, find their lives overwhelmed with “lack.”

Jesus, too, is called “the good shepherd.” He is the one who “giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). When we follow his example, sharing our gifts of time, treasure, and talent, we, too, pour out our lives for others. We lead and are led, learning from one another how to see and live the right path.

Summerlee Staten

Summerlee Staten is Executive Director for Faith Formation & Education at Trinity Church Wall Street. Share your thoughts or questions with Summerlee, and join her Sundays at 10am for Discovery adult education hour.

Children’s Time 

Sundays at 10am | Online

Children and their families are invited to learn together Sunday mornings. We’ll begin with an opening assembly, including a prayer and a song, then break into small groups for a time of exploration and community.

Godly Play (Preschool and older) — An interactive storytelling circle of wonder, faith, and play, followed by hands-on activity and sharing.
Story: Knowing Jesus in a New Way
Response Time: Drawing, coloring, and collage materials

Whole People of God (2nd Grade and older) — An interactive multimedia exploration on the week's liturgical themes with hands-on arts activities and sharing.
Lesson Theme: Sheep, Shepherds, Wolves, and Me

Register to join.

This meeting opens early at 9:10am for the Family Service Watch Party — join us! If you are already registered for Children’s Time, we will meet on the same Zoom link. No need to register again.

Discovery: Evicted in the American City

Sundays at 10am | Online

This week, Matthew Desmond joins the Discovery community as we explore the complex causes and impact of eviction on our neighbors and consider what it means for our Christian vocation.

Over these six weeks, our learning and reflection is centering on Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. In his book, Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. He transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems. The scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible. Learn more about Desmond’s work.

We will also learn from members of the Trinity Grants team about eviction in New York City, how Trinity Church grant recipients are working to prevent homelessness, and what we can do to help our neighbors.

Register to join.

Spiritual Resources