Psalm 23 is the Lectionary Psalm for this weekend, and an appropriate one for a time such as this, as we journey through Lent in unprecedented times for most of us.
The 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 right paths for his name’s sake.
I want to tell you this story that I once read.
Some years ago a very famous actor was at a social event.
Those present asked if he would recite something for the other guests.
He agreed and asked if there was anything special they would like to hear.
After a short gap an old minister asked for Psalm twenty three. The actor paused for a moment then said, ‘I will on one condition, when I am finished you will do the same.’
The minister pointed out he was no elocutionist but he would do it. The actor began the Psalm. His voice and pronunciation were perfect. He held the audience spellbound and as he finished a great round of applause went around the room.
As the applause died away the old man rose to his feet. His voice was not remarkable, his tone was not faultless, but when he had finished there was not a dry eye in the room. The actor rose and his voice quivered as he said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I reached your eyes and ears; this gentleman, he reached your hearts.
The difference is just this; I know the Psalm but he knows the shepherd’