Created with Sketch. Omega talks with Bobby McFerrin about music, spirituality, and the joy of play. Is it a conscious choice not to use words? How can "nonsense sounds" evoke such an emotional response? When I was figuring out how to perform solo, I wanted to move back and forth between bass riffs, melody, and harmony, so I often used sounds instead of -- or alongside -- the words of a song. I found that if I sang a line using the consonants, vowels, shadings, and inflection we recognize as human language sounds, people responded as if I were talking to them.
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In this one Psalm, the Lord is shepherd, host and priest. Shepherding is hard work; constant work, at least. Minimally, it requires skills in leading, restoring, comforting, remaining present, preparing meals, and anointing. She restores my soul. So, thanks to Mr. McFerrin, I will add to the list above; the Lord is shepherd, host, priest, and mother. First, the pace encourages me to slow down as I engage the Psalm. It is a temptation to race through the reading, especially with such a familiar biblical text.
But the gorgeous, lingering chords in the music remind me to linger with the poetic phrases in the Psalm itself. Indeed, the climax of the Psalm is the first line; because the Lord is our shepherd, we have all we need … period.
This alone makes for a thoughtful Easter sermon theme! Combine this with the grateful stance of the Psalmist as he acknowledges what the Lord has done for him and one is led to some profound homiletical potential. In Psalm 23, we not only find out about the one who is expressing thanksgiving, but the one about whom and to whom thanksgiving is being expressed. Psalm 23 is about God just as much as it is about the Psalmist. Better said, it is about the relationship between the Psalmist and God.
This is yet another possible angle for the preacher to take in the sermon. Encourage your hearers to consider how their speech about God reflects their relationship with God. Do they speak about God in ways that express their gratitude for all God has done as modeled in verses , 6? Do they express their thanksgiving directly to God as modeled by the Psalmist in verses ? How might your sermon model both? When we sing the hymn, we all join the Psalmist in praying to the Lord, thereby emphasizing the intimate relationship between God and us!
We are challenged to think of this as a Psalm for now as we move about our days on this Earth. Indeed we dwell in the house of the Lord our whole lives long, including now. Finally, back to McFerrin. Yes, since grateful confidence moves one to doxology, a doxological stance is simmering all the way through the Psalm. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!
Bobby McFerrin - The 23rd Psalm Lyrics
Sing Your Prayers: An Interview With Bobby McFerrin
The 23rd Psalm
Commentary on Psalm 23