By the waters of New Zion (Psalm 137, nationalized)

By the waters of New Zion, here we dance and sing! We have long since retuned our lyres to the tonal system of this blessed land. Our leaders smile on us and swear that we are chosen of the Lord and precious in his sight so we say they are too. Our tongues flap freelyContinue reading “By the waters of New Zion (Psalm 137, nationalized)”

Psalm 125: On earth as it is in heaven?

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,which cannot be moved, but abides forever.As the mountains surround Jerusalem,so the LORD surrounds his people,from this time on and forevermore.For the scepter of wickedness shall not reston the land allotted to the righteous,so that the righteous might not stretch outtheir hands to do wrong.Do good,Continue reading “Psalm 125: On earth as it is in heaven?”

ReMEMbering Psalm 119:97–104

Oh, how I love your law!It is my meditation all day long.Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,for it is always with me.I have more understanding than all my teachers,for your decrees are my meditation.I understand more than the aged,for I keep your precepts.I hold back my feet from every evil way,in order toContinue reading “ReMEMbering Psalm 119:97–104”

The dark turn of Psalm 106

Psalms 95 through 101 utter the praise of the Lord in an unobstructed way. The Psalmist focuses on the Lord’s mighty acts of deliverance on behalf of his people, and joy wells up and overflows as the natural response to the goodness of God. Psalm 102 drops down into a place of suffering and distress,Continue reading “The dark turn of Psalm 106”

Psalm 104: Introduction

What do we mean when we call the Scriptures divine revelation? Many things. One thing we mean: Scripture is text that expresses and inculcates a way of seeing everything (i.e., our lived world, everything that we are to some extent capable of seeing). It is transcendent-truthful vision: “Transcendent” meaning that it shows more deeply thanContinue reading “Psalm 104: Introduction”

Psalm 95 and discipleship failure: An invitation and a warning

O come, let us sing unto the LORD:let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.For the LORD is a great God,and a great King above all gods.In his hand are the deep places of the earth:theContinue reading “Psalm 95 and discipleship failure: An invitation and a warning”

Prayers for an election season (part 2 of 7)

Previously I suggested that the Penitential Psalms might be a good set of prayers for this election season. Why? Not sure I know. Maybe it’s something to discover. I’m quoting these psalms from the NRSV. The titles given by the NRSV translators are their own, not part of the text they received. But they areContinue reading “Prayers for an election season (part 2 of 7)”

Prayers for an election season (part 1 of 7)

Here in West Michigan (does this happen other places?) quite a few people are putting out signs like this instead of (or together with) conventional campaign signs. I like this one: “try praying.” The sign says “trypraying.org.” I know nothing about the org and so can say nothing about it, for good or for ill.Continue reading “Prayers for an election season (part 1 of 7)”

The wicked, God, and me (Psalm 5, day 1)

Psalm 5 sounds perennial themes. These themes recur throughout the Psalter, throughout the Bible, and throughout the life of the person who would follow God and live righteously: wicked people, God, and oneself. What happens if we try to take this psalm as a paradigm, a model, of how to relate these three constants? TheContinue reading “The wicked, God, and me (Psalm 5, day 1)”