Are you ever curious about the scripture texts that become the foundation for the sermons that Pastor Linda preaches? Every Sunday morning, at 9:00 a.m. a few Central folk gather together to study the Bible together, specifically focusing on the text from which Pastor Linda will be preaching that day. Everyone is welcome to join us. We are adding another opportunity to reflect on those texts, each week, online. Three or four different Central members will contribute a short reflection on an upcoming sermon text. You are invited to read the text and their reflections and then add your own voice to the conversation, if you wish. The conversation will assist Pastor Linda in her sermon preparation and may help all of us to hear the Spirit speaking more clearly though the text and the preacher’s sermon. You may comment on the scripture reading or reply to an existing comment.

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, August 19, 2018: Psalm 23

[Editor’s note: Because Psalm 23 is so familiar to most people, we are including 2 different translations as one way to invite new reflection on an old favorite.]

Psalm 23   NRSV

A Psalm of David.

1   The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2   He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3    He restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 Psalm 23   The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

 1-3 God, my shepherd!
 I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
 you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
 you let me catch my breath
 and send me in the right direction.

4 Even when the way goes through Death Valley,
I’m not afraid when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.

5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

6 Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson