Content related to Psalms

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Psalm 80:7-15

Proper 22A

Carving out only the middle section of Psalm 80 (as the Lectionary does) has several drawbacks, not least that if you only read those 9 verses, you miss the framing refrain of this poem as it occurs word-for-word in verses 3, 7, and 19: Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us,…

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Psalm 25:1-9

Proper 21A

Psalm 25 has its share of ups and downs.  On the one hand there are some very sunny promises here.  The opening of the psalm assures us that those who trust in the Lord will never be put to shame.  Were we to peer at the dozen verses that round out Psalm 25 beyond the…

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Psalm 145:1-8

Proper 20A

With 150 psalms to choose from, it is something of a mystery why this is the third time in three months that the Lectionary has had us somewhere in Psalm 145.  Even so, here we are again.  If a given preacher did preach on part or all of the 145th Psalm in July and/or August…

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Psalm 103: (1-7), 8-13

Proper 19A

In past sermon commentaries here on the CEP website I have relayed the anecdote involving the author John Donne.  A friend of mine who taught English once lent an acquaintance a book of collected writings by John Donne.  When the person returned the book, my friend asked him what he thought of Donne’s work.  “He’s…

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Psalm 119:33-40

Proper 18A

The Lectionary now and again plunks down into some seemingly random segment in the sprawling Hebrew acrostic that just is Psalm 119.  This week’s Year A lection lands us in the fifth section in which every Hebrew word in the first line of these 8 verses begins with the Hebrew letter ה or He, the…

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Psalm 26:1-8

Proper 17A

Most Bible scholars have serious doubts about the authorship attributions in the psalms.  Certainly we know the superscriptions were added much later and are not considered canonical (like ones that claims a certain psalm stemmed from a time when David was fleeing Saul and such).  And even all the psalms that are said to be…

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Psalm 138

Proper 16A

Years ago I read a wonderful novel by Indian writer Arundhati Roy and one of the things I liked about the book was its great title: The God of Small Things.  That title can be an apt summary for something you run across often in the psalms, including in Psalm 138. Israel praised their God…

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Psalm 67

Proper 15A

When we think of getting a blessing, we tend to focus on ourselves as the recipient of something good—something that will be good for us, something that will benefit us.  The classic Aaronic Benediction from Numbers 6—that is clearly echoed in Psalm 67:1—is a good example.  When I give this benediction in church, I am…

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Psalm 85:8-13

Proper 14A

“Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Here is a lyric and pretty well-known line from Psalm 85.  But based on how this psalm begins—in the part the Lectionary would have us leap frog over in the first 7 verses—you would not have predicted this Hebrew poem would end up including…

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Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21

Proper 13A

The RCL had us in the heart of Psalm 145 a scant month ago for its July 9, 2023, psalm lection.  Why we are looping back to some of these same verses so soon is not clear.  In any event, I refer you to that sermon commentary and will not here repeat everything I said…

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