We’re big fans of NYC singer/songwriter Melanie Penn, who is currently releasing a brand new song from her album More Alive every month as a way of telling a story of “change and transformation.” We were thrilled to premiere the video for this excellent paraphrase of Psalm 23 that feels particularly appropriate for our current, weird era.
In a written statement, Penn said she hoped to infuse this familiar passage with some fresh meaning for quarantine season. “Sometimes we take the images from this famous Psalm for granted,” she writes. “But what does it mean to set a table in the presence of a threat? When the sky is falling who takes time to set a table, cook beautiful food, and dine with leisure? Anxious people can’t even eat!”
The answers to those questions aren’t necessarily easy, but there is a power in learning how to ask them well, as Penn observes.
“Right now it seems like God is preparing a table for our whole society. In the presence of a threat do we have enough inner peace to just sit and eat? The war wages outside. Will we stay in, dine as best we can and hang tight while God fights a battle for us?”
Penn hopes this Psalms will inspire other people to create their own art. “Unfortunately, pandemics are nothing new,” she writes. “It is comforting to know that when David wrote this psalm he suffered through a plague or two in his lifetime. And here we are as modern people finding comfort in his poems. What poems are being written right now that will comfort generations to come?”