Today is Wednesday the 2 December, in the first week of Advent.
Paul Zach sings ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’.
The reading for today, is “The Lord is My Shepherd”, which is many people’s favourite from the collection of poems that we call the “Psalms”. The reading is Psalm 22 of the Grail version of the Bible. You will find this reading as Psalm 23 in other versions of the Bible. As you listen to it, you might ask, “why does this song speak to so many people?”.
Psalm 22 (Grail)
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit. He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness, no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort.
You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.
What do you understand by “the valley of darkness”? Is this something you feel you have experienced in your life? If so, what was it like?
Is there anything in this poem that makes your heart stir as you listen?
Now listen as the passage is read to you again, and ask, “What does it mean to say that ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’?”
Finally, see if you can gather the feelings that are stirring within you, and turn them into a prayer to God, the Great Shepherd.