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Presbyterians to spotlight Psalm 23 for Good Shepherd Sunday

At 10:30 a.m. worship this Sunday, April 13, Tyrone Presbyterians will shine the sermon and the song spotlight on Psalm 23, as they celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday.
Presbyterians designate the fourth Sunday after Easter as Good Shepherd Sunday. On Good Shepherd Sunday, Presbyterians remember that the Old Testament ancestors of Jesus lived as wandering shepherds. These ancient Jews composed Psalm 23 to describe God as their Lord and Shepherd. Also, Good Shepherd Sunday reminds Christians that Christ called Himself The Good Shepherd, who rescued his lost sheep from sin and death, as retold in the New Testament parable of the lost sheep.
Presbyterian preaching pastor and Epworth Manor chaplain Mark Liller will center his message on Psalm 23, as he delivers a sermon entitled “Know The Shepherd.” In his Homily, Reverend Liller will remind listeners that when they find themselves alone, frightened, lost, or in pain, they can pray to the Good Shepherd, and He will answer them in time of need.
In addition, the choir and congregation will shine the spotlight on the shepherd psalm by singing varied musical paraphrases of Psalm 23 from three centuries. Soloist Dorothy Liller and the Westminster Choir will perform a 1650 Scottish Presbyterian version of Psalm 23 with these lyrics: “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want / He Makes Me Down To Lie / In Pasture’s Green, He Leadeth Me / The Quiet Waters By.
The audience will contrast the 1650 Psalter selection by the choir with an 1874 Sunday School hymn variation on Psalm 23, with these words by Dorothy Thrupp: “Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us, Much We Need Thy Tender Care / In Thy Pleasant Pastures Feed Us, For Our Use Thy Folds Prepare / Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus, Thou Has Bought Us, Thine We Are / Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus, Thou Has Bought Us, Thine We Are!
Finally, the congregation will carry Psalm 23 into the twentieth century when they sing Gloria and Bill Gaither’s 1974 southern gospel version of the Shepherd Psalm using these lyrics: “Gentle Shepherd, Come And Lead Us / For We Need You To Help Us Find Our Way / Gentle Shepherd, Come And Feed Us / For We Need Your Strength From Day To Day / There’s No Other, We Can Turn To, Who Can Help Us Face Another Day / Gentle Shepherd, Come And Lead Us / For We Need You To Help Us Find Our Way.
At the offertory, church organist Richard Merryman will perform John Peterson’s 1958 country western piano variation on Psalm 23 entitled “Surely Goodness And Mercy Will Follow Me.”
As the days after Easter 2008 progress toward Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday, Presbyterians invite everyone to join them at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 13 as they focus on the Good Shepherd, who has promised to lead people through the valley of the shadow of death, and into a new life of resurrection with the risen Lord.