Many Christian adults look back to their childhood and remember memorizing the 23rd Psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd….” Surprisingly, many of us learned that psalm before the Greatest Commandment. How different the playground may have been had we learned that loving God and our neighbor as ourselves before any other words of wisdom!
But it was the 23rd Psalm. Yes, it too has good lessons. We learned that God takes care of us and helps us when we’re frightened. It may well help children to know they can turn to God when they have needs. It may help children to know that God takes care of our needs, and will protect and comfort us, even when people may not like us, and even threaten us. That’s good to know when one of the playground bullies doesn’t yet know s/he is to love us as s/he loves her/himself. Maybe that’s the reason we learn the psalm before much else.
Whatever the reason, something else is interesting for many Christian adults, and that is the wording., While many of us are comfortable with a variety of translations of the Bible, we prefer only one translation of the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father, and the 23rd Psalm. Depending upon our jurisdiction or denomination, we may not have used the King James version of the Bible in decades – except for this prayer and this psalm.
For a treat this week, you may want to read newer versions and translations of the Lord’s Prayer. How do they sound? You may also want to look at the wording of the 23rd Psalm in different translations of the Bible, you may find that only one sounds ‘right,’ probably the one you memorized so long ago.