The lectionary assigns Psalm 121 to be read on the second Sunday in Lent this year:

I lift up my eyes to the hills– from where will my help come?

My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

God will not let your foot be moved; the One who keeps you will not slumber.

God who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil; God will keep your life.

The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

This psalm reminds me of its more famous cousin, the 23rd (“The Lord is my shepherd”).  And at the church I’m a part of (HopeGateWay in Portland), we heard a beautiful duet sung after the sermon this week that knits the themes of both these psalms together, Slow Me Down, by Jon Guerra and Sandra McCracken.  The song’s gentle power illuminates what a Lenten spiritual practice can offer us.

O good shepherd, would you teach me how to rest
I’m rushing on, will you make me to lie down
Will you build a fold by the waters that refresh
Will you call my name and lead me safely out
From my anxious drive to labor on and on

From the restless grind that has put my mind to sleep
Will you call me back and gently slow me down
Will you show me now what to lose and what to keep

O Good Shepherd, O Good friend slow me down.

When my table’s bent with only greed and gold
And my grasping hands are afraid you won’t provide
Will you pour the wine that loosens up my hold
Set your table here with what truly satisfies
O Good Shepherd, O Good friend slow me down.

Imagine inviting God to slow you down and teach you how to rest this Lenten season.  I wonder how this invitation might shape your discipline and practice in surprising ways.

Click HERE to watch and listen to the duet sung at HopeGateWay on March 5 by Martin and Carolyn Turnidge.