A place of refreshment
Many sources of sung responses for this week’s psalm refer to the idea, appearing especially in the last lines of the Lectionary selection verse 12, of restoration after trials:
We went through fire and water; but you brought us out into a spacious place (NRSV) – or ‘a place of refreshment’ (Everett)
Our reading focuses on the first half of the psalm which is in the form of a communal thanksgiving – the second half moves to a more personal note. The full psalm is too long for us to enjoy fully the value of this juxtaposition.
One writer summarises the theme of our psalm for this week as:
Make a joyful noise, God’s brought us through some rough stuff.
Another commentator goes even further to suggest that for an alternate antiphon we might use the chorus from “Walk through the fire” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Tempting: but innovation and recency appeal more that its emphasis on burning.)
In slightly less exuberant tone, if not substance, we shall turn to a setting in Psalms for all seasons number 66A, whose antiphon goes like this:
E D E Cry out to God in joy all the earth Give glory to the name of the Lord
This is an easy one to learn, so anyone available to sing or play instruments join the cantor at 9:15 on Sunday. If you wish to sing any verses please call me to arrange a rehearsal.
Singers will also take a strong lead, in both call and response, in the song ‘God bless to us this bread’ for communion.
Truly a place of refreshment – and spacious.