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Psalm 23

Proper 11B

There are a few psalms that pop up in the Revised Common Lectionary with some frequency.  The Lectionary likes Psalm 29 and Psalm 89, for instance.  Psalms 118 and 148 are often assigned, too.  But few come up quite as often—and often in pretty close chronological proximity as well—as Psalm 23.  Once this sermon commentary…

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Psalm 23

Easter 4B

Psalm 23 is hands down the most famous poem in the Hebrew Psalter.  People seem to read their own lives and experiences into this lyric little song.  That is quite amazing given how foreign most of the imagery is.  Have you ever met a shepherd?  Spent any time with sheep?  Has your head ever been…

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Psalm 23

Proper 23A

This is now at least the third time Psalm 23 has popped up in the Year A Lectionary and across also calendar 2020.  The first time was during Lent and the second time a couple weeks after Easter.  The first time was before we knew the world was going to get turned upside-down due to…

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Psalm 23

Easter 4A

It’s not quite true but sometimes it feels like Psalm 23 pops up in the Lectionary every couple weeks.  In fact, this psalm really was assigned just a few weeks ago for March 22 during Lent.  Psalm 23 pops up at least once—and usually twice—inside any given calendar year in Years A, B, and C…

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Psalm 23

Lent 4A

Psalm 23 is hands-down the most famous of the 150 psalms in the Psalter.  In terms of recognizability, Psalm 23 is probably right up there with popular ditties like “Roses are red, violets are blue,” with Shakespearean sonnets like “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” and well-known song lyrics like “Happy birthday to…

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Psalm 23

Easter 4C

Presidential funerals always draw a huge television audience.  We saw that recently with the funeral services for George H.W. Bush.  We have seen it for Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon.  But when you watch such services, you need not have the funeral program in your hands to guess that probably at some point…

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Psalm 23

Easter 4B

Even though the RCL uses Psalm 23 on the Fourth Sunday of the Easter season in all three years, and even adds it to the Lenten readings in one year, the enterprising preacher should not despair when assigned this lovely piece of poetry yet again.  It is so rich that there is no end of…

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Psalm 23

Easter 4A

On this Fourth Sunday after Easter, all three years of the lectionary cycle have us reading Psalm 23.  No wonder some parts of the worldwide church call this Good Shepherd Sunday.  It is always good to revisit this beloved piece of pastoral poetry, but it does challenge the preacher and this writer, who wrote on…

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Psalm 23

Lent 4A

On the Fourth Sunday of Lent, we are given a tough assignment by the RCL: preach on Psalm 23, the best known, best loved text in the entire Bible.  Rolf Jacobsen summarizes the difficulty of such an assignment.  We can run the risk of trivializing the sublime.  Or we can turn the sermon into an…

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Psalm 23

Easter 4C

What a wonderful change of emphasis Psalm 23 brings to this season of Easter. For the second and third Sundays of the Easter season, the lectionary readings from the Psalms helped to praise and thank God for his work of salvation culminating in Christ’s resurrection. Now on this fourth Sunday after Easter, the lectionary picks…

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