Our Eastertide Psalm for this Sunday is none other than the 23rd Psalm. The well-known, often-recited first verse is incredibly concise in Hebrew. It’s comprised of two brief sentences, and each sentence consists of only two words in Hebrew.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1 KJV)
The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1 CEB)
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. (Psalm 23:1 NLT)
But we do! We do want! We feel like we’re in need!
Does that mean something is wrong with me? With my spiritual life? Is something missing?
You are not alone!
A survey before the pandemic revealed that the most popular class at Yale University was Psyc 157: Psychology and the Good Life. In other words, a course on happiness. A few days after registration, roughly 300 students had signed up. Within three days, over 600 had registered. After three more days, about 1,200 students – nearly one-fourth of Yale undergrads – were enrolled.
Professor Laurie Santos wanted to teach students how to lead a happier, more satisfying life. She speculated that Yale students were interested in the class because, in high school, they had to deprioritize their happiness to gain college admission, adopting harmful life habits that have led to what she called “the mental health crises we see at places like Yale.”
“In reality, a lot of us are anxious, stressed, unhappy, numb,” said a 19-year-old freshman taking the course. “The fact that a class like this has such large interest speaks to how tired students are of numbing their emotions — both positive and negative — so they can focus on their work, the next step, the next accomplishment.”
This Sunday, we examine and celebrate this well-loved Psalm. We’ll pursue honest questions. We’ll take life and scripture seriously. And together, we’ll find a better way. God’s way.
Add this playlist (created by contributors to The Rabbit Room) to your Eastertide celebrations!