N.T. Wright & Reading the Psalms

They express all the emotions we are ever likely to feel (including some we hope we may not), and they lay them, raw and open, in the presence of God, like a golden retriever bringing to its master’s feet every strange object it finds in the field…. They range from the gentle and meditative to the loud and boisterous, from lament and black despair to solemn and holy celebration.”

As I mentioned a few posts ago, our faith-community is focusing on the Songs of Ascent for the next few months. Right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop reading Simply Christian and N.T. Wright’s observations about the Psalms fill me with great expectation for our community’s discussions and reflections.

“In particular, Christian worship from very earliest times has made good use of the Psalms. They are inexhaustible, and deserve to be read, said, sung, chanted, whispered, learned by heart, and even shouted form the rooftops. They express all the emotions we are ever likely to feel (including some we hope we may not), and they lay them, raw and open, in the presence of God, like a golden retriever bringing to its master’s feet every strange object it finds in the field. ‘Look!’ says the Psalmist. ‘This is what I’ve found today! Isn’t that extraordinary? What are you going to do with it?’ The Psalms join together what often look to us like polar opposites as we come into God’s presence. They pass swiftly from loving intimacy to thunderstruck awe and back again. They bring together sharp, angry questioning and simple, quiet trust. They range from the gentle and meditative to the loud and boisterous, from lament and black despair to solemn and holy celebration.”

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