God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
Psalm 23 (The Message)
At this time of Advent in the church calendar, we are awaiting the “good news”. It is what we all want to receive. Sometimes in our lives, hearing “good news” seems more important particularly when our lives are challenged by suffering and loss.
Professionally, I have been interested in how physicians communicated “bad news”. It is a common problem for physicians. We have largely seen this communication problem from the perspective of the “giver” of the bad news.
We also have the opportunity to be a vehicles for the “good news”. I have seen it in the concern and radical love of those who provide the care that is more than their technical skills. We can be part of that unexpected intrusion in our lives by a God who has promised to be with us even when we together with our patients face “bad news”. What we know is that when God intervenes in our lives it is always “good news”... like that first Christmas when God surprises us with new life.
Thanks be to God for the “good news” of this season when we celebrate God’s greatest “Good News”, Emmanuel.
Previous Blog Post, Emmanuel, 12/18/2011