Father Ola on Psalm 23

Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me. all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

During the pandemic, I was the only priest in my church that was working at the time for various reasons. And I remember there was a time when I had, between three, four, five funerals a week. And it was not really time to make every funeral very unique. I had to sort of reuse stuff. and this one – the psalm number 23 – I tend to, I think I read that one on almost all funerals for a couple of weeks and I’m very happy for it because my relationship to that psalm grew a lot and I never got tired of it because there was something about it that just seemed to grow the more I read it.

And I think it’s the very consoling message of how God does not abandon you, no matter where you are in life. I think that is a powerful message and we hear it all over and over. But when you read this psalm, knowing that it’s that is written by David, King David, it’s something else.

King David, we know that he was not, he did some really messed up things. And we know that he didn’t have an easy life. Being a king and all, that’s easy in one way, maybe you would say, but it surely was not an easy life. And again, he did some really, horrible things and still, probably at the end of his life, he looks back on his life and he writes these lines.

And I think there is some consolation in knowing that this is what someone have experienced of God, this is someone’s experience of God, looking back over their life and seeing that God has not abandoned you, no matter what, even though, in spite of all those things you’ve done and didn’t do, all that. Yeah, that’s just something powerful in that.

And when we get lost, which we do from time to time we can also read this psalm and be reminded of that God, the shepherd, will actually go out looking for us – risk his own life in order to save you and me. That’s something – something in that just that’s worth coming back to over and over.

First broadcast on http://thesundayeucharist.com on April 21st, 202
Connect with Father Ola via Facebook (Ola Whistler Sahlén) or Instagram (white_collar_)


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