Holy Covenant UMC, April 25, 2010
Rev. Kate Hurst Floyd
Have you heard this scripture before?
I thought so.
It’s one of, if not the, most familiar passage in the entirety of the Bible.
Those of you who grew up in churches probably had to memorize it at some point. It’s most often read at funerals or said around those who are hurting or dying. We’re probably most familiar with the King James Version, with its poetic turn of phrase…He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
But this Psalm doesn’t just have resonance within church walls: It’s ubiquitous in our culture. We use phrases from it in our colloquial expressions: “My cup runneth over” and “Goodness and mercy shall follow me”; even “days of our lives”—where do you think that comes from?
Even if you haven’t spent much or any of your life in church, this is probably one of the few passages from the Bible you know. Those of you who are my age probably remember the Coolio riff on the Psalm….made popular in the film Dangerous Minds starring Michelle Pfeiffer…It’s everywhere.
We know this Psalm like we know the back of our hands….and yet it might seem odd to read such a familiar passage on our Eco-friendly Sunday (after all, we’re not at a funeral or in a mediocre 90’s movie). We recite this Psalm in a variety of contexts…but we wonder, what does this Psalm have to do with creation care, sustainability, and environmental justice? (more…)