Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pentecost 8b - Psalm 23

Psalm 23

Lisa and I have had more than one sheep and a few shepherds in our time, albeit of the German, Australian and Belgium variety, but then “the Lord is my shepherd” wasn’t thinking of a dog to get the job done. No, “the Lord is my shepherd” isn’t limited to a pastoral landscape or agrarian lifestyle. That may be why a culture specific song speaks to every time and place. We all know the valley of the shadow and have felt its cold grip about our necks. We have been surrounded by enemies who overturn our tables and drain our cups to the dregs.  Goodness and mercy have fled away and our heads have been anointed with scorn. The psalm is not spoken to those who lie on beds of ease or rejoice as in days of comfort. There is a reason the 23rd psalm follows the 22nd cry of dereliction, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” For “the Lord is my shepherd” speaks as a finale to those who have walked through “the valley of the shadow”. Not that the rest of us can’t sing the song. It’s just that to fully appreciate the tune requires a minor key before the chord can be resolved. 

No comments:

Post a Comment