Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Challenge #6 - The 23rd Psalm

I've never been quite sure why the 23rd Psalm is reserved mainly for funerals.  The words of David chant praise for tremendous daily blessings.  Lent is the opportune time to meditate on these words and the be aware of the comfort they can give to us.

 It's good spiritual exercise to imagine life in biblical times when shepherds spent their days seeing to it that no harm came to the sheep.  David was a shepherd himself when he was young.  Perhaps that his why his words are written with such love and deep understanding of "being watched over and cared for."  We, too, need that feeling of security, especially now that natural disasters are threatening catastrophic happenings in Japan and other parts of the world. What better way to bring security into our lives than by renewing this beautiful prayer.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
(The Shepherd watches and cares for me, day and night, and I don't have to worry)

He made me to lie down in green pastures:
(Just like the sheep, I must take time to rest when I am tired)

He leads me beside the still waters.
(I am encouraged to drink the refreshing waters of peace and contentment)

He restores my soul:
(When my life slides backward, The Shepherd renews my faltering spirit)

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
(The Shepherd sees to it that I don't wander away from His watchful eye)

Yes, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
(When I do get lost in the deep ravines of life where I face darkness and fear)

I will fear no evil:
(I don't have to be scared)

For You are with me;
(The Shepherd holds my hand)

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
(I feel protected from mean people and harmful situations)

You set a table before me in the presence of my enemies
(The Lord lays out before me a long table of provisions to help me through every situation)

You anoint my head with oil;
(The Shepherd chose me--He blesses and sustains me spiritually)

My cup runs over.
(I have far more than I need)

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the House of the Lord forever.
(Everything's gonna be okay)