Sunday’s Scripture ~ Psalm 91
(or any Psalm of your choice!)
This week we enjoy a musical interlude. Consider it our intermission in our journey through twelve major themes in Scripture. But this isn’t your typical intermission. Don’t tune out. You can get up for a snack if you like, but come back quickly! There is music to sing!
Like there are many different tones in music, there are a diversity of tones in the Psalms. There are psalms of praise, psalms of lament, psalms of questioning, psalms of awe, psalms of forgiveness, psalms of assurance.
The Psalms can be sung. The Psalms can be read. The Psalms speak to all aspects of the human condition. When we are joyful, mourning, hungry, seeking justice, aching for rescue, and more – there’s a Psalm for that!
When our words fail us, we have the gift of the Psalms. They are a human composition, but I believe they were composed by God and then shared through human hands.
The crafting of psalms continues today. Perhaps you write poetry or music to get rolling thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. Perhaps when you are stressed or worried you turn to music to give you words when you can’t find them. When I struggle to give voice to my emotions, I turn to my favorite songs both sacred and secular. When I hear them or sing along to them I emote and then sense God’s peace.
Our lives are psalms. We live them as we write them. And like the Psalms, what we do with our lives is an offering to God. Sometimes what we offer is not so pretty – those times of anger, frustration, and loss – but God honors that offering because it is authentic and true. In the Psalms I believe we see humanity setting pretenses aside and standing in real-ness and genuine-ness before God. And in a world that seems to be all about “putting on faces” and “keeping up appearances” I think we would do well to express, emote, and find our voice in and among the Psalms.
Reflection: (A) Take time to write a psalm of thankfulness to God for what God has done in your life this week. To shape your psalm writing consider: (1) what God has done for you, (2) how God’s action changed you and/or your circumstance, (3) what will you do now that God has acted on your behalf, and (4) how has this experience made you more genuine and real?
(B) Think through your music collection – whether vinyl, CD, or MP3 – and identify songs in your repertoire that you see as psalms. Maybe it’s a ballad by The Beatles or Kenny Chesney or Alanis Morissette or Journey! Maybe it’s a hymn! Study these songs. Do they speak to thankfulness, struggle, or wonder? How do they shape or how have they shaped your experience? How do they help you set aside the facades and the appearances so you can uncover the real, genuine you?