I often do a Sunday morning activity with the youth that attend our church service.  A recent project has been to rewrite sections of scripture in the words and phrases used in our own culture and in particular to use the shorthand prose used in text messages and to endeavour to synthesize the passage into the length of a twitter (i.e. 140 characters).

Here is the NIV version of Psalm 134 (by all accounts the second shortest of the bible):

“Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD.  Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD.  May the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.”

We reworked this as follows:

“Prz GOD aL u Gs of GOD hu rap aL nite on da graveyrd shift. Put ur h&z ^ in prz. mA da GOD hu mAkz hvn&erth bls u frm paradize.”

Psalm 134 (the final psalm in a series of “songs of ascent”) talks of blessing (both us blessing God – praising him in the NIV version and God blessing us).  It talks of a people serving all night in the temple, presumably keeping the lamps lit, or on guard duty or perhaps praying through the night.  In our version we took on this sense of being on the graveyard shift (cold, lonely, tired, …) but then suddenly it dawns on you where you are (in the sacred temple) and your filled with a tremendous urge to praise the LORD and lift your hands in prayer and are filled with an awe for him who made heaven and earth.