Richly Provided For

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
PSALM 23:2
Richly Provided For
The prophet . . . calls God's people and the Holy Christian Church a "green pasture," for it is God's pleasure ground, decorated and adorned with all kinds of spiritual gifts. The pasture, however, or the grass in it, is God's Word, with which our consciences are strengthened and restored. Into this green pasture our Lord God gathers His sheep, feeds them in it with precious grass, and restores them with fresh water. That is, He commits to the Holy Christian Church the office of a shepherd, entrusts and gives to it the holy Gospel and the Sacraments, so that by means of these it may care for and watch over His sheep and so that these sheep may be richly provided with instruction, comfort, strength, and protection against all evil. . .. This, then, is the first fruit of the dear Word: that the Christians are instructed through it in such a way that they grow in faith and hope, learn to commit all their doings and ways unto God, and hope in Him for everything they need in soul and body. [The second fruit is:] It is not only the believers' pasture and grass, with which they are satisfied and grow strong in the faith; to them it is also pleasantly cool, fresh water, through which they gain refreshment and comfort. . .. That is, in all kinds of afflictions, anxieties, and distresses—spiritual and physical—when I cannot find help and comfort anywhere, I cling to the Word of grace.

From Commentary on Psalm 23 (Luther's Works 12:162-63)
March 22
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