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Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32

Proper 7B

Ancient Israel was never know to be a seafaring people.  By Jesus’s day being a fisherman was clearly a common occupation on the Sea of Galilee but Israel did not have much experience with sailing forth on mighty sea vessels out into the Mediterranean or some such.  Yet the section of Psalm 107 that the…

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Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15

Proper 6B

It gets repetitive to point out the RCL’s tendency to avert the reader’s eyes from anything smacking of judgment or the destruction of the wicked and of those who pose themselves as enemies of God.  But here it is again as we scoop out seven verses from the middle of what is already a somewhat…

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Psalm 130

Proper 5B

Psalm 130 may be called a song of “ascents” but it begins with a descent into the depths of despair and desperation.  Traditionally this poem has been tagged with the Latin phrase de profundis as those are the first two words of this psalm in the Latin Vulgate translation of the original Hebrew.  But what…

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Psalm 81:1-10

Proper 4B

Psalm 81 is God’s cri du coeur, the cry of the heart.  When we think of God’s heart, we mostly think of its purity or power.  There is a long tradition in what is now mainly the Roman Catholic tradition of the “sacred heart.”  If you have ever been to Paris, you perhaps visited the…

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Psalm 29

Trinity Sunday B

The Revised Common Lectionary assigns Psalm 29 for the Year B Trinity Sunday but it is by no means clear what this ode to the power of God as seen in a thunderstorm has to do with the Triunity of God.  Granted there are actually not a lot of (if any) Old Testament passages that…

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Psalm 104:24-34, 35b


“But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more.”  If you look closely at the Revised Common Lectionary Psalm assignment for Pentecost Sunday in Year B, you will notice they don’t want you to know about verse 35a.  Just skip over it.  Pretend it’s not there.  It’s like an ugly belch…

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Psalm 1

Easter 7B

As the Year B Lectionary brings Eastertide in for a landing, it returns us to the very head of the Hebrew Psalter.  As we conclude our celebration of the resurrection and anticipate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Psalm 1 reminds us of what the righteousness we have in Christ looks like in…

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Psalm 98

Easter 6B

“Sing to the Lord a new song.”  How often?  What about singing to the Lord some old songs too?  Obviously that is OK since what is the Hebrew Psalter if not a collection of very old songs that we have been using and in various forms singing for millennia.  Still, there can always be a…

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Psalm 22:25-31

Easter 5B

No, it’s not your imagination: the Year B Revised Common Lectionary has put Psalm 22 in front of us now three times in calendar year 2024.  Almost this exact same lection was the reading for the Second Sunday in Lent and the entire Psalm was assigned for Good Friday.  Now here it is again as…

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Psalm 23

Easter 4B

Across the years I have written sermon commentaries on Psalm 23 so often that I am fairly certain I have little new or creative to say that has not been conveyed in one way, shape, or form before!  It also does not help that this may be the single most familiar psalm of them all. …

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