Katie Snipes Lancaster
Scripture: Psalm 23:1
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Spiritual Practice: Memorization/Learning by Heart
There is power in our ability to memorize. One of the things I’ve missed most during the pandemic is the common, memorized refrain of the congregation praying together the prayer Jesus teaches us to pray. Our voices gather, reciting something that comes out of our mouths as if being conjured from thin air. It is a mystery. A true beauty.
There are other scripture passages we know by heart: probably for some of you Psalm 23 will forever be written within you. For me, Psalm 121 can echo within me because it was put to music so intimately, I can sing it almost word for word.
A high school student once said that she was grateful for Psalm 23 when her school went on lock down. Was it a practice lock down? Was it real? All she knew was that the words “The Lord is my shepherd…” flowed out of her, quietly at first, and then loud enough for a friend to hear.
Memorization means that you carry the word of God, the love of God, the truth of God within you in your inmost self. You never know when you may need those words of comfort for yourself or for someone you love.
O God, our Shepherd, we lift our hearts to you.
And, we ask that you might write your word on our hearts,
So that, forevermore, we carry you within us, in a new way,
Able to recite your tender love in deepest need.