Way back in the year 2000 there was a movie entitled, “What Women Want.” I don’t know how many people saw it, but enough people must have seen it to warrant a remake because in 2019 there was a sequel of sorts entitled “What Men Want.” This morning I am going to fold those two titles into one and tell you “What People Want,” or, more specifically, “What Religious People Want,” especially, Jews, Christians, and Muslims, because Psalm 23 is claimed by all three major faiths.
According to the most beloved Psalm in the Bible, people want several things.
We want “No want!” The Psalmist begins, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” According to Abraham Maslow, our most basic needs are physiological needs, including food, clothing, and shelter. All those needs are covered in Psalm 23, and Jesus may have had it in mind when he spoke to his disciples saying:
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Today you and I are blessed to be among the richest, best-fed people in the history of the world. We seldom miss a meal, never really go hungry, and are surprised when we can see the bottom of our freezer. Others have not been so fortunate. In the 1920s and 1930s, the farmers of Ukraine were asked to give up the lands they had worked for generations and move to the collective farms established as a part of the Soviet Union’s Five-Year Plans. They often worked the same land they had always farmed, but all the food—and I mean all the food went to the collective. Thousands of men, women, and children were sent to prison for ten years or killed for holding back even a few pounds of grain. Ukraine has been the breadbasket of Russia the way Kansas and Nebraska make up the breadbasket of the United States. That is just one reason that Putin wants Ukraine. We ought to be concerned with the war in Ukraine for many reasons. One that stands out is that the world’s food supply has been severely hurt by it—and shortages are ahead for many. I am pleased that our little church has now given almost $9,000.00 to the Board of World Mission for the relief of Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic and in Germany. We may be called upon to do more. Continue reading →