Funerals and Cheesy Wall Plaques
This week I was lying in bed early in the morning, reluctant to emerge from my cocoon of warmth kindled by innumerable quilts and afghans, and step into the unusually cold bedroom. And so, I remained in bed, insulated and heavy-eyed, until a sense of guilt began to overtake me. After all, it was time for me to rise and shine. There was plenty to do, lunches to prepare, a dog to be walked and a kid to be chauffeured off to school. The fact that I was comfortably languorous was no excuse and I was well aware the feeling that I should be up and running would not abate anytime soon. Just as I had decided to make myself vertical, I remembered my homework! Pray the Twenty-third Psalm, I remembered the preacher had passionately enjoined his congregation. Oh, the grace! And so, I remained in my pillowed cloister a little longer to pray that gracious hymn, which my beloved Big Grandma once paid me twenty dollars to memorize in order to shut me up on a long drive from New Cuyama to Bakersfield.Quid pro quo capitalism at its best.
And so, I can report that I have been praying the Twenty-third Psalm every day, just like the preacher asked me to. I’ve even memorized it again. And, how sweet it is. I wonder if it brings back memories for you? One parishioner, when I asked how her prayer was going, commented to me that it reminded her of “funerals and cheesy wall plaques.” Indeed.
Well, the preacher said he wouldn’t tell the congregation where to find the Psalm 23, arrogant cuss. So, if he won’t share, I will! During my study this week, I was reminded of a beautiful and out of the way translation of the Psalm, which as it turns out is closer to the original Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew texts than many of the other translations available. This translation is The Jerusalem Bibleedition, and here is the Twenty-third Psalm for your prayer and edification, but please, don’t share it with the ‘arrogant cuss’. Let him find it for himself.
The LORD is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
In meadows of green grass he lets me lie.
To the waters of repose he leads me;
there he revives my soul.
He guides me bye paths of virtue
for the sake of his name.
Though I pass through a gloomy valley
I fear no harm;
besides me your rod and your staff
are there, too hearten me.
You prepare a table before me
under the eyes of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil,
my cup brims over.
Ah, how goodness and kindness pursue me,
every day of my life;
my home, the house of Yahweh,
as long as I live!
God bless you, and see you Sunday!(The Rev.) George Daisa