Daily Reading for March 8 • Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, 1929
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters”—the very beauty of this picture may serve only to hide from us the depths of its meaning. We seem to see the shepherd walking before his flock through fields decked out with green and gold and all the glory of a generous God, coming at last to the silent pool with the reflection of the sky sleeping in its heart, and it seems as though it were for the glory of the summer and the sleeping beauty of the pool that the sheep followed the shepherd. And indeed it is for that reason that many do seek the Good Shepherd. They think of religion not as a necessity but as a luxury, not as life but as a kind of addition to life which it is very nice to have but which we could quite well do without.
But it is not for the green and gold of summer fields that the sheep seeks to find them, but because they are good to eat. It is not for the sleeping beauty in the heart of silent waters that the flock follows on to find them, but because they are good to drink. It is not luxury that they ask of the shepherd, it is the bare necessities. And we cannot make too sure of this: that religion, communion with God, is not luxury, but a necessity for the soul. We must have God.
From The New Man in Christ by Geoffrey A. Studdert Kennedy (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1932).