Living Psalm 23 – Easter 4C
Living Psalms Book
Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.
Living Psalm 23
Reimaged for the Fourth Sunday of Easter
23 1Things go better when I let the LORD lead and guide me through the ups and downs,
the twists and turns of life.
When I think I can shepherd myself — watch out, disaster is about to happen.
Trust me, I’ve experienced this.
When I dare to let go and trust the Holy One, no me falta nada (I lack nothing).
2 With the guide of my life leading, I can chill out and give up control.
Control is an illusion anyway.
I am gifted with and enjoy the green of nature.
The giver of life is the one who challenges me to rest
rather than always running around like the energizer bunny.
Spirit leads me to the waters of life and challenges me to embrace rest and relaxation.
I fight against this, and yet the Sovereign offers me Extravagant Love and patience
in the midst of my anxiety;
3 Dios (God) keeps me alive when others would celebrate if I were dead.
Life offers me many paths; some are healthy and others not so much.
My human deseo (desire) is to embrace everything.
Spirit invites, warns and nudges me to embrace the road of love, life, healing and wholeness. I often get in the way of myself by ignoring the Spirit of Wisdom.
Sophia continues, even when disappointed,
to call my name for the LORD desires all that is good for me.
4 I’ve walked through joy, despair, uncertainty, arrogance, doubt, shame, blame and guilt.
I’ve experienced the deepest and darkest valleys of life.
I’ve been uncertain. I still am. And yet, here I am.
I continue to pray that I might not have to live through the experiences
of the dark valley of the soul.
While no quiero (I don’t want) to travel this journey, I embrace your love and light.
I can only trust that no danger will embrace me because you are with me,
even when I am unsure whether I am with myself.
Is it not trust and risk-taking that you are calling me to live into?
I’ve learned that Your rod and your staff protect me,
even when I am not worthy of such loving grace.
I am eternally grateful.
5 The mesa (table) of unconditional love is what You have set before me.
I’m not sure what to do with such profound welcome.
I know myself and I do not deserve to be seated here.
Clearly, you see the sincerity of my soul while I focus on all my flaws.
Even in my confusion and doubt you sit me in front of my enemies.
How can it be that in my doubt, despair,
and my self-recognition of my sinfulness you pour out the finest oil and bathe my head? What do you see within me that I cannot see within myself?
The Oil of Grace anoints me and says, “You are mine.
You always have been and will always be.”
The cup of gozo (joy) within me spills over! I am not alone.
I finally have figured that out.
You love me when I don’t even love myself.
You give me that bear hug that I desire even when I know that I don’t deserve it.
6 God’s mercy, grace, goodness, compassion and unending love have been gifted to me. Hallelujah, I didn’t have to earn it.
Eterno Dios (Eternal God) your unconditional and faithful love is with me
and will not cease being present to me all the days of my life.
A smile of joy and the warmth of your Spirit bring unending certainty
of Extravagant Welcome and Love to me.
My address isn’t changing.
I am living in your grace.
When I am called home,
I will live throughout eternity in Your House.
My heart is glad and I am assured,
I’ve never been nor will I ever be alone all the days of life.
Living Psalm 23, for Easter 4, was written by the Rev. Justo González II, Interim Conference Minister, Illinois Conference.
Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community.
Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.
© Copyright 2019 Justo González II. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.