A couple of years ago I was asked to write a month’s daily reflections for an Australian publication, God’s Word. These attractive booklets offer reflections based on the scriptures for every day of the year so in January almost two years ago I found myself writing little encouragements for Christmas of 2021!
Because I am making the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius (30 day retreat) until the end of next week and therefore uploading these Advent 2021 posts in early November, I thought I would double-dip and use my reflections for God’s Word over the next few days until I am with you live again at the end of my retreat.
Here is my God’s Word piece for today – with a strict 150-word limit!
Today’s psalm is perhaps the best known of all of the 150 psalms. It’s a text known by name, by number and in popular melody: The Lord’s My Shepherd, Psalm 23, often sung to the tune Crimond.
Set to one of its many popular melodies, this twenty-third psalm is a classic at funerals, partly because people of all faiths and of none can easily join in, but also because grieving people know their need to be gently carried through the “valley of darkness and death” to ‘God’s dwelling place forevermore’.
But more often the words of this prayer give me direction and hope in the midst of daily routines and demands. When I pray with this psalm I can see that it is not about death at all, but about life both now and eternally.
That’s the kind of good news that I need every day.
Please keep me in your prayer over these retreat days, and know that I am praying for all FFF readers and for your intentions.
More info on the God’s Word publication by clicking the image below, and the words of the Twenty-Third Psalm as our prayer for the day:
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;
He revives my soul.
He guides me along the right path,
for the sake of his name.
Though I should walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
no evil would I fear,
for you are with me.
Your crook and your staff will give me comfort.
You have prepared a table before me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for length of days unending.