Commentaries Written by Doug Bratt

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Psalm 30 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 6B

Comments, Observations, and Questions to Consider Psalm 30’s superscription claims it’s a song for the dedication of the temple.  Yet its modern relevance seems greater than that.  After all, it appears to be a song of thanksgiving to God for deliverance from a perilous situation.  It doesn’t require much imagination to deduce that God has…

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Psalm 19 Sermon Commentary

Lent 3B

Comments, Observations, and Questions to Consider C.S. Lewis once called Psalm 19 “the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.”  So it’s no wonder lyricists have set a number of beautiful interpretations of it, including “The Heavens Declare Your Glory” and “God’s Glory Fills the Heavens,” to music…

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Psalm 147:12-20 Sermon Commentary

Christmas 2A

Comments, Observations, and Questions to Consider Psalm 147 is one of the psalter’s five last psalms, each of which begins and ends with a “Hallelu Yah!”   It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate way to close God’s people’s hymnbook.  In fact, this psalm even basically begins by asserting the fittingness of praise to God.  It…

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Luke 1:47-55 Sermon Commentary

Advent 3B

Notes and Observations While this is obviously not what’s popularly called a psalm, it is Luke’s record of Mary’s song of praise to God upon learning that she’s pregnant by the Holy Spirit with Jesus.  Since it’s quite familiar to most worshipers, those who preach and teach Luke 1:47-55 may want to think about some…

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Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 Sermon Commentary

Advent 2B

Comments, Observations, and Questions to Consider Psalm 85 is essentially a prayer for God to restore God’s people.  It, in fact, uses the word “restore” twice.  In verse 1 the poet recalls how God “restored the fortunes of Jacob.”  And in verse 4 she pleads, “Restore us again, O God our Savior, and put away…

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Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 Sermon Commentary

Advent 1B

Notes and Observations You might think Psalm 80’s poet addresses Yahweh the way you’d address a napping grandfather: Wake up, Grandpa.  Listen to me.  I need you to help me.  Yet the one to whom the psalmist speaks is no drooling, doddering geriatric.  The poet clearly thinks of the Lord not only as a shepherd,…

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Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany C

Comments, Observations, and Questions to Consider One possible exercise for those who preach and teach the psalms is to ask what an “anti” Psalm 72 might look like.  Psalm 72 is the poet’s prayer for an (unidentified) king.  So like what might its opposite prayer look?  For what sorts of things do we naturally ask…

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