“The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want.”
In the course of the four week breviary this psalm appears in Prayer During the Day in Sundays 2 and 4. It always seems to me that it does deserve a higher profile. It is however a pleasant surprise when it does come around. I think due to its association with the Crimmond tune we usually sing and also its associations with funerals it is never seen in a truly positive or happy light. This is to do it a great disservice.
The opening verse: “The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want” is the invitation to life with and in Christ, the Good Shepherd. It is relational, our relationship with the Lord is a loving and caring one, He seeks everything that is good for us and provides for our every need. My father is a font of quotes and phrases and anecdotes and one of his is “I don’t want to be rich, I just want a pound in my pocket every time I need one”. As priests we are called to simplicity of life, we are not called to flamboyance or extravagance. With this in mind how comforting to know that everything we could possibly want and need will be provided for, and everything we could want and need and is necessary in life is found in the person of Jesus Christ. The rest of the psalm goes on to reinforce what is expressed in this opening line; “You are there with your crook and your staff with these you give me comfort”; “my cup is overflowing”. It ends of course with that pledge of the eternal life with Christ “In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever”.
Rev. Gerard Donnelly