June 19, 2017
Speed Reading the Psalms?
June 19, 2017
This week’s sermon text: James 5:13-19
As I was preparing this week to pray, read, and write, I felt a strong pull toward the Book of Psalms. Had I given the weekly psalm enough attention, or had I read hurriedly through it as a prelude to the scripture commentary in the field notes? Again, I felt a distinct urge to spend my assigned week focused on the psalm. With that in mind, please do read the Old and New Testament scripture for each time, but set aside a few quiet moments to lean into the psalm.
In “How We Should Read the Psalms,” Mel Lawrenz says, “The Bible is not just a book. It is relationship in words…a living action between the almighty Creator of the universe and his most cherished creation: humanity. We do not understand Scripture unless we hear in it the divine-human dialogue…In the beloved 150 songs and poems in the middle of the Bible, we witness not just God speaking to us, but the privilege we have of speaking to God. This is the essence of relationship: two parties interacting with each other. And what an interaction!”
Each day this week I will provide a frame (some that are familiar and some that may be new to you) for hearing and experiencing the psalm recommended by Vanderbilt Divinity Library’s common lectionary.
Questions for the Field
- What does Psalm 126 say about God?
- What does the psalm say about people?
- What does the psalm say about the relationship between God and people?
- What thought or image will you carry during your day?
Family Field Talk
Psalms 120-134 are songs of ascent because they were carried by pilgrims going to and from Jerusalem. What meaning would the psalm have for a pilgrim?
Sovereign Lord, you are higher than our imaginations can see; you place within us the gifts of poetry and song. Let us hear you and see you through the words of the psalms. Invite us to sit with you as thoughts, images, and emotions wash over us. You’re living action in us today. Amen.