We are in the middle of “Praying the Psalms” as a church. We are talking about the Psalms together, we are singing the Psalms together, we are reading the Psalms together, and we are praying the Psalms together. Praise, lamentation, thanksgiving, confession, urgent entreaty—it’s all there, in the Psalms.
We’re even hearing some original psalms from fellow Morden Mennonites. This has brought us snippets of psalm such as this, from Al:
O Lord of Light,
we celebrate your name in all the earth!
Breathing in the winds which shake the trees,
we speak words of honour to your name.
Or these lines, from Stephanie:
Remember what God has done,
brought the Israelites out of Egypt,
brought many Mennonites out of Russia,
brought relief to those in disaster and war.
Let us seek God’s presence continually.
Or these couplets from my own psalm of praise:
You paint the sunset crimson gold,
you clothe the dawn in soft pastels.
You sketch the night sky with flecks of light
and sculpt the day with solar rays.
We’ve had a rich journey so far of “Praying the Psalms” together.
Along the way I have been following another journey with interest. A few weeks ago the Australian theologian and blogger Ben Myers “tweeted the Bible,” giving a summary of each book of the Bible that could fit in a Twitter tweet, a maximum of 140 characters. And in that collection of tweets was this wonderful window on the biblical book of Psalms:
Psalms: The invention of antiphony: when my heart broke in two, I taught both parts to sing.
I can’t imagine a better one-sentence description of the Psalms, can you? You can check out the rest of his “CanonFodder” tweets on his blog.
Thankfully, Ben didn’t stop there. He has now moved on to “Tweeting the Psalms,” summarizing each of the biblical Psalms in a 140-character tweet. Here are a few samples of his tweets of Psalms that we have looked at or will yet explore in our series:
Psalm 1: The bad life is a busy life, full of bluster and bustle; the good life is a reading life, full of the joy of Torah.
Psalm 13: “Why have You forgotten me? Why are You hiding?” (sung to the tune of Pharrell Williams, “Happy”.)
Psalm 23: My life is a day in the desert, but You know where the wells are; my death is a night in the desert, but the things I fear fear You.
“The things I fear fear You.” Indeed they do.