A Reflection on Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing
What kind of leader have I been?
Who have been models of leadership for me in the world?
Wonderful images of nature
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
Lovely to feel refreshed. Lovely to have new life breathed into your Soul
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
There are the nudges of many people along the way.
Parents, teachers, friends, mentors, counsellors, children
There is direction, advice
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
for his name’s sake. To honour God/ to be honoured by God – to honour the one who has a thousand names and no Name.
Yes, the one who cannot be Named
Who is over and beyond us
And yet who breaks in to our reality
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
Here is the acknowledgement that life will challenge us to the core
Many of us have experienced such challenges and have come through
Many of us are descending into the valley at this moment
I will fear no evil,
Fear yes, I will fear
for you are with me;
But there is always the third presence
your rod and your staff,
The Good Shepherd will defend the sheep, will give his life for the sheep, protects them, knows them by name ……rod – implies discipline and education- discipleship, the learning process.
they comfort me.
How does that comfort come? Through others certainly.
Gerard Manley Hopkins says,
“For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
Lovely in limbs and lovely in eyes not his
To the father through the features of men’s faces”
You prepare a table before me This is the table of humanity/ all our tables/ the Round table of King Arthur. Table is a place of culturalization- inspiring family history, values, respect, all passed down around a table.
in the presence of my enemies. I do have enemies- there are those who would like to see me fall, embarrassed, made to look stupid/ many people who may want what I have. Who may not like the way life has made me/ how I dress/talk/walk/speak/- We see that in our society – xenophobia
You anoint my head with oil; but you anoint me/call me blessed/ call me by name/accept me/heal me/ challenge me/ massage me/ spend time with me/
my cup overflows.
The Austrian poet Ranier Maria Rilke, on a visit to Russian monasteries in 1900
I want to mirror your immensity.
I want never to be too weak or too old
To bear the heavy, lurching image of you.
I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
For where I am closed, I am false.
I want to stay clear in your sight.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me Goodness and Love will triumph and I will be part of it.
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
My story began with You. My story will end with You. In my end is my beginning.
for ever. My story will run out of time/ but I will run beyond time into the mysterious mansions of God.
There are three thing that last forever, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is Love.
Then I shall know, even as I am known.
I shall be completely known and understood. The image I see in the mirror shall be me.