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Psalm 130

Lent 5A

This poem is labeled a “Psalm of Ascent” but it starts as a Psalm of Descent.  It is called De Profundis in older Bibles—the Latin for “from the depths.”   When last this came up for the Lectionary Year A Fifth Sunday in Lent in 2020, the initial COVID lockdown was in its second week.  Some…

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Psalm 23

Lent 4A

Psalm 23 is hands-down the most famous of the 150 psalms in the Psalter.  In terms of recognizability, Psalm 23 is probably right up there with popular ditties like “Roses are red, violets are blue,” with Shakespearean sonnets like “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” and well-known song lyrics like “Happy birthday to…

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Psalm 95

Lent 3A

Growing up in a tradition that had once upon a time been founded on Psalm singing only in church, I sang lots of psalms in my boyhood church even long, long after my Reformed tradition had added also hymns to our standard Psalter Hymnal songbook.  Even as a young boy, though, I was struck by…

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Psalm 121

Lent 2A

For the second week in a row the Year A RCL has assigned a psalm that was also the Year C Psalm lection just a few months ago in October 2022.  So with modest modifications, here is a bit of a rerun on my recent thoughts on preaching this well-known—and very lovely—Hebrew poem. When I…

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Psalm 32

Lent 1A

It was only a few short months ago that the Year C Lectionary assigned most of Psalm 32 as the Psalm Lection.  Now here it is again assigned in its entirety for the First Sunday in Lent in the Year A Lectionary.  Since I only have just so many insights into Psalm 32—and since some…

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Psalm 2

Epiphany 7A

Thanks to Handel’s oratorio Messiah, Psalm 2 often gets associated with Christmas as traditionally it is during Advent that many choirs/orchestras present this well-known piece of music, including the thundering and fiery solo “Thou Shalt Break Them.”  Yet here we are on Transfiguration Sunday looking at this very psalm.  And if applied to the Messiah…

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Psalm 119:1-8

Epiphany 6A

In the world of secular music, I would guess you would be hard pressed to find many songs with titles like “I Just Love Rules!”  In fact the website Ranker provided their top list of songs with the word “law” in the title but songs of the variety “I’m Lovin’ the Law” don’t seem to…

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Psalm 112:1-9 (10)

Epiphany 5A

About all I can say after reading Psalm 112 is that it’s one thing to wear rose-colored glasses but quite another to fuse those glasses to your head so you can never take them off!  Psalm 112 is by no means the only poem in the Hebrew Psalter to paint a glowing portrait of what…

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Psalm 15

Epiphany 4A

In the Gospel sermon commentary for this Year A Sunday we are directed to think of who we are supposed to be as reflected in Jesus’s Beatitudes in Matthew 5.  As theologians and biblical commentators have noted for centuries, if we want to know who we are to be like in order to fit inside…

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Psalm 27:1, 4-9

Epiphany 3A

C.S. Lewis said somewhere that when you add it all up and consider it all together, in the end we would find that our prayer life is also our autobiography. Who we are, where we’ve been, the situations we’ve faced, the fears that nag us, and not a few of the core characteristics of who…

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