Selah Background

We invite you to pause and reflect in a Selah moment as we consider the twenty-third Psalm. 


Most would agree that the 23rd Psalm is the most widely known portion of the Bible. Its use is strongly associated with funerals. J. Clinton McCann, in his commentary in the New Interpreters Bible, writes, “To be sure it is appropriate that Psalm 23 be read and heard in the midst of death and dying. It may be more important however that this Psalm be read and heard as a Psalm about living, for it puts daily activities such as eating, drinking, and seeking security in a radically God-centered perspective that challenges our usual way of thinking.”1


This will be our focus as we look at Psalm 23 in light of “Selah living.” What can the psalm teach us about living lives that are not randomly reactive to the pressure of relentless deadlines and grueling scheduling but, instead, are intentional and well examined.  Selah living may call us to change our pace, plan less and reflect more.


Questions for Reflection:


How long has it been since you:
  • spent a whole day without adding or checking off things on your to-do list?
  • read Scripture that wasn’t in preparation for a class, worship or some other task?
  • awakened on a day that you had nothing planned?
*1 J. Clinton McCann; Commentary (on Psalm 23), The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary, Vol. IV, Psalms (Abingdon Press, 2015), 767.
content provided by the United Methodist Church