Thursday, May 14, 2015

"the shepherd verse"

My twins, Anna and Lucy, have just memorized Psalm 23, which Anna calls "the shepherd verse".

I think I'm going to think of it that way from now on.

As I've been listening to my girls recite it to me, I've noticed something new about it. (Isn't it funny how listening to something you've read a million times can make it feel brand new?)

What I noticed is that the part about "the valley of the shadow of death" comes right after the part about "the path of righteousness".

"You lead me in paths of righteousness," says the psalmist, "for your name's sake."

And immediately after that, he says, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."

The path of righteousness, therefore, may very well go through the valley of the shadow of death.

I hadn't noticed that before. "You lead me," says the psalmist. And directly after that, he acknowledges the fact that he might well follow that lead into dark places.

And yet. And yet.  "I will fear no evil."

Why? "Because You are with me."


Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


Erica Jarrett said...

This is our favorite. It is one of the few memorization verses that mostly stuck with me from childhood. Then when I was working I would recite it while I washed my hands (you know how you are supposed to sing a little ditty to make sure you wash for a full minute? I'm a family doctor so clean hands was especially important, at home I actually rarely do it) And now I've taught it to my 3 year old daughter, first by singing, now she can sing or recite it and we do it as part of our evening prayers, so beautiful and powerful.

Jessica Snell said...

I love that, Erica! thanks for sharing. :)