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  • CPC Quartet

We Shall Walk Through the Valley

Arr. Undine Smith Moore

Sung by the CPC Quartet: Amalia Goldberg, Kirstin Roble, Jiabao Zhang, John Bohman




We Shall Walk (March) Through the Valley


We shall walk through the valley in peace;

we shall walk through the valley in peace;

And if Jesus himself shall be our leader,

we shall walk through the valley in peace.

There will be no trials there;

there will be no trials there;

And if Jesus himself shall be our leader;

we shall walk through the valley in peace.


The lyrics to this spiritual quoted in Luke Powery’s devotional book use the word “march” instead of “walk” sung in this week’s recording. It is interesting to consider the semantic differences between “walking” and “marching.” Try substituting “walk” for “march” in the excerpt below and consider whether the meaning of the spiritual changes for you.


Life doesn’t consist of only mountaintops, the high ecstatic moments. We all probably know this, just by living. Lent is a wilderness journey. The psalmist describes a “valley of the shadow of death” in Psalm 23. It is the valley through which we also travel sometimes. And not only travel, but “march.” Marching is so much more intentional that mere walking. It takes determination, energy, focus, and sheer will to march. When one marches, one has a destination in mind. The spiritual calls us not just to march, but to march “through the valley.” It acknowledges the valley experience but it doesn’t say we will die in the valley or faint in the valley, but march through the valley. Moreover, no matter what happens in the valley, we will march “in peace.” Knowing we can trust in “Jesus himself” as our leader gives us courage to march or walk in peace. Our peace in whatever circumstances we find ourselves comes from Jesus, who is our peace (Eph. 2:14). Let Jesus lead you to where he wants you to go. If Jesus leads, you will find peace in the valley.


Prayer for the Day:

Lead me, Jesus, lead me. Even when the way is difficult and I must traverse the “valley of the shadow,” help me to trust that by following you, I will be delivered, for you are always by my side. Your “rod and staff” comfort and guide me through all the challenging passages of life to the place where there will “be no trials.”


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