Tuesday, July 24, 2007

keep reading and praying the psalms

Both Eugene Peterson in Eat This Book, as well as Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together speak of us praying the psalms in and through Jesus Christ. The first time I read Bonhoeffer on this I was scratching my head, though I did think there was truth there. Yes, it was afternoon break, and no, I'm not necessarily that coherent that time of day. I kept after it, reading it repeatedly and it began to make more and more sense to me. Not that I understand it well yet, but I'll keep working on it.

One thing is for sure, keep reading and praying the psalms, and do so as God's child and part of Christ's Body, in and through Jesus Christ. These psalms can help us through the darkest days and times in our lives. Every general human experience and mood seems present in them.

And we know that through Christ and his coming in his Incarnation, life, death and resurrection, these psalms take on a kind of fulfillment that we end up participating in together. The psalms in a sense become the prayer of all of us, as God's people in Christ. And it is Christ himself who prays them with us and in him that we find their meaning in God's judgment and grace that comes through Christ. This is praying in the Spirit and it is also praying according to God's word and the revelation of God we see in Jesus from the gospels as well as the rest of the New Testament.

Keep reading and praying the psalms. There's everything in Scripture we need, and the psalms themselves in some form, contain all of that. Who of us isn't facing difficulties, hard knocks, impossibilities, temptations, at times failures- all that life can throw at us? God will help us, as we help ourselves to this inspired song and prayer book: Psalms.

6 comments:

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

thanks so much for the encouragment - it is much needed

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks, hm/Susan.

Doug Jones said...

AMEN!

we need the encouragement to persevere... but clearly there is a truth (possibly beyond our reason or reasons) that forms and reforms us as we make these ancient prayers our own.

Ted Gossard said...

Doug, Thanks for that.

Matt said...

The psalms are so powerful because they are so blatantly honest. I am looking forward to reading Peterson's book. Thanks for your thoughts on it.

Ted Gossard said...

Matt, That's a big part why I love the psalms, also.

And I look forward to getting my own copy of Peterson's book a little "down the road."