Tuesday, March 02, 2010

sacred moments in the Psalms

I've been moved by the Psalms these days. As a lover of songs and words and music, the Psalms have always been my favorite. But it's like I just rediscovered their beauty again recently.

My church, Sojourn, has been going through the Old Testament for over a year, and they just finished up with the Psalms. Sunday morning I had some extra time before the 11:15 service (a rarity, this is, because I typically sleep as late as possible!), so I sat and read through some random Psalms to sort of "prepare my heart" for the morning. Sitting in my living room, I read them out loud to myself.

When I was reading one of them (I actually don't remember which Psalm), something moved me...I found my eyes actually welling up with a few tears, and I was a little choked up as I read out loud to myself. I'm not sure that had ever happened to me before. Typically I've relied on experiences to move me emotionally, and I was so moved by the Word alone that it surprised me, caught me completely empty-handed & unprepared. It was only for a few seconds, mind you, but I was moved, nonetheless. I don't discount the Holy Spirit's power at work in the Word.

At the worship time at Sojourn Gathered that morning, all the parents were asked to retrieve their kids from childrens church and bring them in to worship with us. After all, children looove to sing and dance, and they can teach us how to do it with an undignified heart. We worshiped and sang about how "He turned our mourning into dancing," and I was moved again. I remembered how somehow 3 years ago, even in the midst of mourning the loss of my Dad, I somehow can still find hope and joy in this life. And again, I think I held back a few tears while I was singing. The kiddos were rejoicing beautifully, some clueless why they were in the midst of boring adults, but they participated all the same. It was another beautiful moment in the Psalms.

This morning, I was reading Psalm 33, and yet again found such great beauty in this: the same God whose hands arranged the starry skies and could gather all the waters of the seas into jars also forms our hearts! I also notice now the word "forms" is in present tense rather than past. He is still forming our hearts. This is encouraging to me. (If anyone out there is a Hebrew scholar, I'd actually love to know if this is true in the original Hebrew writing...unfortunately I didn't take Hebrew in Bible College...)

I thought I'd simply share Psalm 33 and hope that you are moved by the beauty of the God who deserves all our praise. May we put our hope in Him.

1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.

3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.

4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.

5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.

6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.

9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.

11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.

13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;

14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth-

15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.

16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.

17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.

18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.

21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.

22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.