Day 24

Today has been fairly hectic with appointments and peculiarities, but all is well. I weighed in at 145 pounds for the second day (don’t think I’ve mentioned my weight for a few, but I know some folks are tracking it. I believe it was 143.5 the day before).

I’ll admit it: I’m behind in my reading of the Psalms. I met with Rev. Rummer today, he pointed out that we often fail to meet our expectations and rather than beat oneself up, it’s better to simply start again. The Bible allows for that, you know, whether you’ve just biffed your diet or are just finishing up a career in porn.

For my money, it’s tough to read them straight through, because they can get bogged down on similar themes over and over. I can see why the Rule of St. Benedict outlines such a specific reading schedule for each day of the week. Since they are poetry, it would help to read them aloud, but often when I’m reading, I’d have spectators.

While most of the Bible is God’s word to the people, the Psalms differ in that they are outcries from the people to God. Honestly, when picking up a Bible, I’d rather read what God has to say. But there are some good tidbits to be gleaned. And comfort, I suppose.

I liken them to the Blues. It’s comforting to know that someone else has gone through the same crap and has cried out for a little mercy. The Blues are the Blues, but they lift my spirits through the brotherhood of pain.

That’s all very interesting, but I’d take John Lee Hooker over David any day.

About Wilson

J. Wilson is an award-winning homebrewer, BJCP judge and pretty good dad. View all posts by Wilson

6 responses to “Day 24

  • Malinda

    I didn’t get the point of the psalms either until I took the Jeff Cavins Psalms class that Ascension Press puts out. Wow! It means a lot more to read them now.

    And reading them aloud is good if the audience is a your children. Good family sharing!

  • Brad J.

    Greetings from a lurker!

    I’ve been quietly following your Lenten project here, and since the Psalms have been the core of my own prayer for years, I thought I’d comment — hopefully this helps you find the psalms more fruitful!

    Christian monks have usually interpreted the Psalms as Jesus’ own prayers to the Father, so in praying them, we both overhear and join the dialogue within the Trinity. Many of Psalms have that “blues” suffering feel to them, and in those I try to identify with Jesus on the cross. For me, at least, the key to all the psalms is looking for Christ there.

    For a long time, the hardest psalms for me to pray were the “cursing” psalms (like the last bit of 137). The key there for me was to recognize my real enemy — sin — and direct the curse against my own sins and temptations. Before that, I always felt pretty awkward praying those.

    And of course lots of the psalms have connections to the ritual of ancient Israel: coronations, sacrifices, processions to the temple, and so on. A good commentary is worth its weight in gold there, since those things also relate to Christ.

    Which translation are you using, by the way? I’ve found that different ones bring out different aspects of the poetry. I love the one from the English prayer book (by Coverdale), myself, since you really feel like you’re entering into the ancient world and the poetry’s wonderful. There’s also a fun recent anthology (“The Poets’ Book of Psalms”) with lyrical paraphrases by different poets.

    Best of wishes in both your fast and your prayer!

  • Brian

    Thanks for reminding me that so many times when we pray we complain. We sing the blues. We ask for the Lord to help us somehow. Maybe sometimes we should pray with good news and thankfulness? Sure, we do that occasionally but usually as a ritual such as the blessing of a meal. I’ll make more time to share what I really like in my life and how thankful I am for those good things. This will help me pray more and pray better.

  • Wilson

    Brad-the translation’s part of the problem. I’m reading from the Remix. It’s a Bible given to me by a good friend. It’s beautiful, feels good and has a great inscription, but the modern-day language might be accessible for some, but it just doesn’t sound the same.

  • Blair Wilgus

    I have shared your struggle with the Psalms being words written to God. I had a seminary prof describe the Psalms as “Man’s words to God that have become God’s words to man.” While i still struggle sometimes, this way of viewing the Psalms has really helped me search the Psalms for what God thought was worthy of inclusion into his word.

  • Pastor David

    The Psalms are God’s Word that inspired believers prayed. Jesus our Savior prayed the Psalms throughout His life and even from the cross. The Psalms are the prayer book of the Bible. They summarize the Scriptures.

    I started praying the Psalms during Lent about 5 years ago and I’ve been praying them ever since. I go through the Psalter once a month. At first it was awkward speaking them out loud. It didn’t seem like prayer, it didn’t seem like my prayer. That’s the point though, the disciples asked Jesus, “teach us to pray.” God uses His word to change us so we pray that His will be done. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in his book on the Psalms that prayer should come from the richness of God’s word rather than the poverty of our own hearts.

    May the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you+

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