4th Sunday after Easter
Scripture: Psalm 23
If someone invites you over and enquires “Who is God” or “How would you describe God?” What will be your response? The answer will depend on your age, status and context of your upbringing and environment. The atheists, the lay people, the poor, the children, the
rich, theologians, and the weak will definitely provide various answers to describe who God is. This question, however, could not be comprehended easily, if the one seeking the answer will not take into consideration the importance of each response.
Today I want to highlight a child’s response. The Sunday school teacher asked “Who is God?” Answers came from different perspectives. In regards to Psalm 23 verse 5a, one student replied. “God is the Waiter in a restaurant”. Why did the child intentionally mention this? Is it because Psalm 23 verse 5a provides biblical typology of God being like a waiter in a restaurant? The preparation of a table [mentioned in verse 5a] commonly known as the responsibility of the waiter in a restaurant. Unbeknown to the child that her answer has biblical preference in Psalm 23 verse 5. Most probably the child have no intention to utilize Psalm 23 verse 5a as a hermeneutic lens to sum up the answer of who God is. A waiter in a restaurant” is worthy to express the Triune God.
Psalm 23:1-6 is one of David’s song (hymn), sung by the Israelites which acknowledges the mighty acts of God in the midst of the communal life of His people. It talks about God’s protection, providence, and guidance. David wrote this psalm in the late years of his life based on his extensive experience of being a shepherd. That experience who eventually led to him becoming the God’s chosen shepherd of the Israelites. Apparently, David knew the role of a shepherd. He understood that the shepherd should have the potential to protect, guide, and the flock. Without a shepherd, the flock will be scattered. In the Psalm David metaphorically refers to the role of the shepherd as a guide and protector to imply the greatness of God as a shepherd over his people.
This world is full of danger and has its problems, this is the reality of life. There are many things that bring danger to every aspect of our lives and everyone needs someone to comfort them from their troubles. From the perspective of a waiter in a restaurant, we understand that God is always our provider. We must believe in God’s mighty act of mercy which guide and protect us. As we live amidst war, disasters, political tensions, a pandemic, family issues, community issues, climate change, and so forth, we are reminded of God being the Waiter of life. He keeps on moving with his mighty act of mercy, to flourish our Christian communal life with the table filled with an abundance of grace, where we can experience physical and spiritual satisfaction if we believe in Him whole-heartedly.
-Rev Aratibin Mikaere, Kiribati Uniting Church
Almighty God the Father of all providence, protection, and guidance, we praise and magnify your name. We thank you for being in our midst preparing the tables that provide us with a comfort zone. Help us in our journey to comprehend you in every aspect of our life, so that we may be strengthen, nourished in faith in light of our commitment to you. Amen.