ORIGINAL TEXT: (Biblegateway.com)
The Lord is my (A)shepherd,
I [a]shall (B)not want.
2 He makes me lie down in (C)green pastures;
He (D)leads me beside [b](E)quiet waters.
3 He (F)restores my soul;
He (G)guides me in the [c](H)paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Even though I (I)walk through the [d]valley of the shadow of death,
I (J)fear no [e]evil, for (K)You are with me;
Your (L)rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You (M)prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You [f]have (N)anointed my head with oil;
My (O)cup overflows.
6 [g]Surely (P)goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will [h](Q)dwell in the house of the Lord [i]forever.
INTERPRETIVE READING OF PSALM 23
*Alternatively, read with the original Psalm text interspersed
God Almighty, the Creator God, the real Ruler of the universe – He is my strong Shepherd. Every day. All day. 24/7.
I’m such a dumbass lamb, but He cares about …me. That truth astounds me. He, Himself, cares about me, and He will make sure that I am lacking in nothing. Wow! I am amazed.
Every day He makes it possible for me to luxuriate, laying on the thick green meadow grasses. Every day, every day, every day. Every day!
I’ve spent many a painful night on rocky outcroppings, having wandered-off in the daylight without Him, surrounded by desert thistles. But not with Him! All my life He will lead me, my feet – beside quiet, peaceful streams of water – because I was chosen by Him to be in His flock. Wow! I am amazed.
My soul! Often battered by what life serves-up, my soul is restored to peace and strength – when I turn to Him. My Shepherd guides me, walking before me, preparing a way down paths for my good and for godliness. He does this for me because of who He is and what He has promised me. Since before the foundation of this world, before all our universe even existed – He planned for me specifically to be in His flock. Wow! I am so totally amazed.
“What a comfort to me, oh Lord – your shepherd’s rod and staff!” My Shepherd is with me to comfort and protect me – even to the extent of when walking through valleys of doubt and depression or death threatening events. In those times I have no fear, because He is by my side through it all. I’m confident and at peace.
My Shepherd is stronger than any evil. There is no horrific event or time of evil in which You are unable to bless me for good. Even in a time when evil surrounds me, or whenever I may be in the actual presence of those who want to harm me – You provide for me, whatever my need may be.
My Shepherd blesses me. Me! Even though He has a humongous flock! Me! He causes all kinds of good to happen for me, making my life better than if I were to be of a different flock.
Because the Almighty loving Lord God Himself is my Shepherd, I am overwhelmed with assurance every day, knowing that His goodness and lovingkindness will follow me – all the days of the life that God gives me.
I rest in Him, at peace, with calm in my soul, because I know I am His lamb, and I will forever live in His house. Eternity with God! That is my destiny. Wow! I am so amazed.
–Interpretive reading of Psalm 23
Alternatively, read with the original Psalm text interspersed