Psalm 31, 14 May 17

This psalm, combining many common themes of supplication, distress, trust and courage in diversity, appeared in the Lectionary just last month. It was discussed in a post for Palm Sunday, a summary of which follows. This¬†is a rich psalm,¬†combining feelings of confidence and security together with a sense of danger, sorrow and dismay. Enduring all … Continue reading Psalm 31, 14 May 17

Psalm 43

Note. Psalm 43 was almost ignored when it came up last time (June 2016) since the Lectionary adds it to Psalm 42 as a combined reading -- and there is a good reason for that. It appears in its own right, but only as the alternative reading,¬†late in Year A, 5 Nov 2017. This interim … Continue reading Psalm 43

Psalm 69

Sometimes themes and¬†verses are repeated so often in the¬†psalms that it's hard to find new inspiration. In Psalm 69, we hear again the laments and prayers of someone who feels enmity,¬†opposition, slander and loneliness, the while giving thanks for merciful love and safety in divine provision. Fresh, however, is imagery of sinking¬†in swirling waters --¬†'up … Continue reading Psalm 69

Psalm 38

The third of the seven Penitentials, this psalm is glass half empty¬†-- no, make that a quarter --¬†through to verse 14. The opening verses mirror those of the first Penitential¬†Psalm, 6. The singer regrets failure, inadequacy, illness and a thorough-going weariness. Then comes the half full, and an urgent request for comfort: For in you … Continue reading Psalm 38

Psalm 39

Psalm 39 is a song reflecting on the¬†short span of life -- 'a few hand-breadths ... a mere breath'. (verse 5) ¬†It is not formally included, as is the preceding Psalm 38, in the list of seven penitential psalms. (Neither 38 nor 39 make it into the Lectionary.) 39¬†could well qualify, however, as one of … Continue reading Psalm 39