Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Lord is My Shepherd 1

I'll post the questions that come to me, you can respond or not or ask questions of your own. Another possibility is to journal your reaction to the text and/or questions.

The Lord is my Shepherd by Harold S. Kushner, Anchor Books 2003. Available from Amazon for $9.56 plus shipping. Or click here for other, less expensive choices:

Step 1: The first step is to re-read Psalm 23. I'm going to ask you to do that every day. Perhaps it would be helpful to read a variety of translations. This can be done on-line at:;

What will come up will be the New International Version (NIV). To the right of the where it says NIV, there is an arrow for a drop down menu . Scroll down to the English selections and there are many different translations and paraphrases of this Psalm.

Step 2: Read (or re-read) "First Words" and Chapter 1: A Psalm of David.

Step 3: Have fun with the following questions:

1) On page 3 in "First Words" please look at the last 2 sentences of the 1st paragraph. What is your reaction? Would you agree that Psalm 23 is a good response to those who would blame God for the bad things that happen to us?

2) On page 5, Rabbi Kushner guess that this Psalm may be almost universally known. what has this Psalm meant to you?

3) On page 6 toward the bottom, he calls it "distilled wisdom of generations" and goes on to define that term. What does this Psalm teach you about living in relationship with God?

4) On page 7 at the end of the paragraph carried over from page 6, does the last sentence sound to you like repentance? Why or why not?

5) Toward the bottom of page 7, the rabbi tells us the Psalm teaches us something about how we view the world. How does it do that?

6) What does this Psalm tell us about death? Pain? (page 8)

7) What does this psalm tell us about the personal experiences of the Psalmist?

8) On page 9, he tells us this psalm offers us theology we can use every day. How has this Psalm helped you?

9) On page 10, Rabbi Kushner makes a case for the anonymity of the author of what is among the most profoundly powerful bits of Scripture in the paragraph that begins at the bottom of page 9 and continues on 10. What reaction do you have to this "it takes a village" approach to inspired literature?

10) On page 11, Kushner returns again to the theme of the real world of the Psalmist. What parallels are there in your life? How does this Psalm help you with them?


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