December 28, 2022

2023 in the Psalms

What did you do this fall?  Much of mine was spent "with" my Propel 7 Cohort in an online Wheaton College Old Testament course.  It was fantastic!  As the year draws to a close, I've been thinking particularly about how the class instilled in me the desire to spend more time in the Psalms.   It is easy for me to get academic and heady when it comes to reading Scripture, which I know is not entirely a bad thing.  Reading Psalms and learning more about the book got me thinking, though, about how much I'd like to connect with the Lord.  I'd love to be as spontaneous in my praise and crying out as so many people in the Bible and folks I know presently.  Pslams provides such useful language for communicating with God and also knowing more about his character and deeds.

Because I am a human, I benefit greatly from accountability.  Hopping back into the blogosphere like it's 2005 will offer me just that and give me an outlet for sharing what I'm learning and thinking about.  Over the last couple of years, I've been practicing embracing while managing my achieving personality, (any other Enneagram 3s out there?).  So, with a reminder to myself to proceed with grace, patience, and realistic expectations, I have a general plan for a series that will go through the whole year!

There are 150 Psalms.  To read through them in a year one needs only read a few a week!  That's what I'm going to do to move through them slowly.  I'll drag the blog and whoever reads this into the mix by writing a reflection on one of those psalms each week.  That's manageable, right?  Well, it may not be, only the Lord knows what this year has in store, but for now, I think it sounds reasonable and fun!  (Yes, fun is relative, I know - nerds gotta nerd.)  Oh yeah, and I'm also thinking of recording myself in my natural habitat reading each week's psalms for your listening pleasure; those would be a special social media feature.

Learning about Psalms and writing a couple of papers about two specific psalms this semester got me really excited about what these poetic pages of scripture have to offer us, whether we trust in the God of the Bible or not.  One crazy fact  I'll leave you with before closing is this: "Laments constitute the largest group of psalms in the Psalter, which in itself probably says something about our common humanity. There are more than sixty, including individual and corporate laments."  (How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth p 220)  Sixty out of one hundred fifty is forty percent!  This surprised and comforted me.  God is not unaware of our sorrows in this sin-ridden, challenging world and he doesn't tell us to "zip it," but rather to bring our laments before him.  Even this is an expression of faith, not failure or weakness.

I hope you'll join me on this loosely-structured, modifiable-as-needed 2023 adventure in Psalms!  May the Lord direct our hearts into his love and Christ's perseverance (2 Thessalonians 3:5).