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Psalm 82

Proper 15C

What are we to make of Psalm 82?  Who are the “gods” that get referred to multiple times?  If you as an orthodox believer are convinced there really are no other gods beyond the God and Father of Jesus Christ, then these references to other gods may be a bit unsettling.  But as I read…

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Psalm 33:12-22

Proper 14C

Suppose you are a person who is leery of civil religion, of the possible idolatry that can come when people equate a given nation with God’s kingdom.  Well, in that case, Psalm 33:12a might give you pause, or it might flat out trouble you a bit.  “Blessed is the nation whose God is Yahweh.”  That…

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Psalm 49:1-12

Proper 13C

At times there is a very fine line separating the poems we call Psalms from the biblical literature we call Wisdom such as in the Book of Proverbs.  Psalm 49 is a classic example of a definite blurring of that fine line.  In fact, Psalm 49 sounds sufficiently like any number of passages in Proverbs…

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Psalm 138

Proper 12C

Psalm 138 has features shared by many psalms of praise.  There are vows to praise God.  There are references to the poet’s motivations for praising God.  There is the ardent hope that eventually all the earth and all the kings and peoples of the earth will learn to praise Israel’s God as well.  Like most…

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Psalm 15

Proper 11C

By my count nearly one-third of the 150 Psalms—44 out of 150—never appear across the three-year Cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary.  But there are some that come up with frequency, and Psalm 15 is one such poem from the Psalter as it occurs once in each of the Lectionary Years A, B, & C….

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Psalm 25:1-10

Proper 10C

In his book years ago The Closing of the American Mind Allan Bloom lamented the decline of true education in this nation’s colleges and universities. Bloom decried the way many professors had dispensed with the traditional canons of literature in favor of whatever was trendy and vogue. He mourned the fact that critical thinking and…

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Psalm 66:1-9

Proper 9C

A bit cheeky.  A goodly dose of chutzpah.  A tad forward.  You have to admire the psalmists who on many occasions are not the least bit adverse to ordering the whole world to praise the God of Israel.  Make no mistake: all those “Praise the Lord” lines in so many of the psalms are in…

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Psalm 16

Proper 8C

Psalm 16 presents the words of a person whose life appears to be going swimmingly. Everything is working for this poet. These look to be the words of a winner, of a person who was born sunny-side up as a confirmed optimist. And I suspect we’ve all met people like this. I also suspect that…

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Psalm 22:19-28

Proper 7C

Ordinary Time is just beginning yet the Lectionary directs us to a sometimes difficult psalm.  Yes, we are being asked to consider only the hope-filled, praise-filled conclusion to this poem but it’s not as though we can forget its terrible opening set of verses.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” brings us…

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Psalm 8

Trinity Sunday C

The poet of Psalm 8 stared into the night sky and was properly dazzled at what he saw. But to put it mildly, what he did not see was a lot! Had this psalmist been able to spend a scant ten minutes looking through a telescope, he would doubtless have fainted in wonderment. Ancient astronomers…

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