The coronavirus and Psalm 23

One of the great things about Psalm 23 is the way it captures not just the times of blessing we go through – those green pastures and quiet waters – but the times of pain. 

During the last few months, many of us have felt that we're going through a particularly dark valley – perhaps, for some of us, even 'a valley as dark as death'. The coronavirus has had a devastating effect on us – not just directly in terms of death and illness, but indirectly in how it's affected people's jobs and ways of life. There's plenty of pain behind us, but there's more to come. 

In other words, we aren't out of that dark Covid-19 valley yet. But Psalm 23 speaks to experiences like ours. It talks about going 'through' the valley: we will come out of the other side. It says, 'I will fear no evil', because God is with us; no matter what, we're never alone. And the psalm offers a hope for a better future, too. It speaks of hospitality, of a table spread in the presence of enemies – and one of the heartening things we've all experienced during the last months is the way people have joined together in the face of the coronavirus enemy. 

Psalm 23 is a psalm for our times. It rejoices in the good things we enjoy, and is honest about the bad things that frighten or bewilder us. Most of all, it offers us hope for the future, and of a home with God.

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