“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was taken through the “valley of the shadow of death” on the way to the temple for trial. Earlier, Jesus had heard from Phillip and Andrew that Greeks wished to hear Him, and as the Scriptures record:
“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
Jesus journey began “for His NAME’s sake.” For the Father had glorified His NAME in the Incarnation of the Logos, and He is glorifying it again with the sacrifice of the Son. And that the table prepared was in the midst of enemies included both those enemies that crucified Him, and Judas who betrayed Him:
“He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus to him, That thou does, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spoke this to him.”
So all is fulfilled as the Psalms teach, but this teaching concerning betrayal is vital and it is for our time. Many “Orthodox” and “Catholic” and “Bible Believing” “Christians” think little of the horrors of abortion, or the other insanity being propagated by our leftist neighbors and frenemies. And we who love our fellow Church goers love them. We love our family members who are lost in modernist delusions. Our love is not abated by their error, nor does it seem after decades that their error is abated by our love. All we can do is mourn and hope our tears are example enough so the specks in their eyes may be cleansed by their tears of repentance, even as the moat in our own eyes is removed by our tears given for them.
When Jesus is walking through the valley of the Shadow of Death, the valley of Hinnom or Gehenna, He is walking past where pagans had sacrificed their babies to the pagan god Molech. This is directly tied to the sin of abortion murder.
And as Christ Himself was betrayed, and His betrayer accompanied Him through the valley, so too many in Church accompany Christ, and many betray Him by shedding innocent blood.
We who know better are called to be crucified with Christ. We are called to a supper in the midst of our enemies, though we are against the things with which they are well pleased: abortion, LGBTQ perversion, fornication, divorce, slander, murder, gluttony and all the sins we ourselves are also guilty. Only through repentance and cleansing ourselves in the blood of Christ, taking upon ourselves the punishment we deserve, do we share in His journey through the valley of the shadow of death.
As Saint Paul admonished the Romans, and us as well:
“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life:
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.
For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
Please continue praying for your neighbors and pastors, priests, Bishops, Patriarchs and Popes. They do not know what they do and neither do we. It has become painfully obvious. Whatever we do beloved in Christ, let us stay far away from abortion and the unchastity that leads to it. It all leads to hell.