The following meditation is drawn from a 200th anniversary sermon at the Congregational church in Rupert, Vermont:
I DON'T SUPPOSE there is any passage in either the Old Testament or the New that sums up the faith this church was founded on more eloquently and movingly than the 23rd Psalm. "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want." How many times would you guess those words have been spoken here over the years, especially at dark moments when people needed all the faith they could muster? How many times have we spoken them ourselves, at our own dark moments? But for all their power to bring comfort, do the words hold water? This faith in God that they affirm, is it borne out by our own experience of life on this planet? That is a hard and painful question to raise, but let us honor the occasion by raising it anyway. Does this ancient and beautiful psalm set forth a faith that in the secrecy of our hearts we can still honestly subscribe to? And what exactly is that faith it sets forth? The music of the psalm is so lovely that it's hard sometimes to hear through it to what the psalm is saying.
-Originally published in The Clown in the Belfry