The Life and Death of Pastor Timothy Keller | May 20, 2023

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Timothy J. Keller, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, friend, pastor, and scholar died this morning at home. Dad waited until he was alone with Mom. She kissed him on the forehead and he breathed his last breath. We take great comfort in some of his last words, ‘There is no downside for me leaving, not in the slightest.’ See you soon, Dad.”   —The Keller Family

 In memory of this hero of the faith, I’d like to share a favorite devotion from his book, The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms:

READ: Psalm 23 (NIV)

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

PEACE IN THE MIDST. God has a celebration meal with us not after we finally get out of the dark valley but in the middle of it, in the presence of our enemies. He wants us to rejoice in him in the midst of our troubles. Is our shepherd out of touch with reality? Hardly. Jesus is the only shepherd who knows what it is like to be a sheep (John 10:11). He understands what we are going through and will be with us every step of the way, even through death itself, where “all other guides turn back.”1 (Romans 8:39).

Prayer: Lord if I fed on your love, grace, and truth, I would not be in any want. In this life I will never attain that, yet you are always with me, and someday you will lead me to my true country, the home I’ve been looking for all my life. Help me rest in that. Amen.2

Rest well, Pastor Tim, you are home in your true country. We love you.

1Derek Kidner, Psalms 1-72: An Introduction and Commentary (Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1973), p.111.

2Timothy Keller, The Songs of Jesus (New York, New York: Viking, 2015), p. 41.