Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

Image of Psalms from Dead Sea Scrolls via Wikimedia Commons

On your journey toward Sunday, first read Paul's writing to the church in Galatia from Galatians 3:23-29. In the last verse Paul writes, "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise." As heirs of Abraham and as Christians, we are particularly blessed that the Hebrew Scriptures are included in our own sacred texts. In light of this, the sermon for Sunday will focus on the Jewish "songbook," if you will, specifically Psalm 42 and 43.

The Psalms, or the Psalter, is a collection of prayers and songs composed and collected throughout the history of the people of Israel. While these poetic songs include songs of thanksgiving and praise, there are also a large selection of songs of lament or prayers for help. In some cases it is an individual who is crying out to God. In others, the entire community is responding to overwhelming distress by pleading to God.

Since Psalm 42 and 43 are actually only one psalm, we will be considering both readings. Through the spiritual practice of Lectio Divina, slowly and prayerfully read Psalm 42-43. What do you notice from the reading? Does something specific get your attention? Now, try to place yourself in the story by imagining that you are one of the people of Israel who has been in Babylonian captivity. Read the text again, slowly and prayerfully. What new learning do you notice this time? Finally, read the passage one last time, but this time pay particular attention to metaphors and images of water. You may wish to close your time of study and reading by saying The Lord's Prayer or Psalm 23 either silently or aloud.

As always, I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday. May God bless you and those you love.


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