Psalms of Lament is a heartbreakingly beautiful collection of poetry. Weems alarmingly yet assuringly gets right down to business in her Preface: This book is not for everyone. It is for those who weep and for those who weep with those who weep. It is for those whose souls struggle with the dailiness of faithkeeping … Continue reading Psalms of Lament (for “Scalding Tears”)
Yesterday I posted a prayer of lament for the victims and families of victims of the shooting at the Dark Knight showing in Aurora, Colorado the other day. Here is another lament prayer, compiled by Laurence Hull Stookey from a collection of Scriptures. Christians do, after all, have a rich Biblical tradition from which to draw … Continue reading Another prayer of lament in response to Aurora, Colorado mass shooting
Last night a 24-year-old gunman opened fire on a theater full of people who had come to see The Dark Knight Rises on opening night. From the New York Times: A gunman armed with three weapons, including a rifle and shotgun, opened fire in a theater crowded with families and children at a midnight showing of the … Continue reading A dark night at Dark Knight: Prayer of lament for Colorado shooting victims
This post is an adaptation of a sermon I preached a few weeks ago, with Psalm 55 (read it here) as my preaching text. Can we pray them? Yes, we can! Recently the The New York Times published an Opinion piece called “The Mosquitoes Are Coming for Us.” The subheading was: “They are our apex … Continue reading Psalms of… Vengeance?
This week Accordance Bible Software has released a massive 68-volume bundle from Westminster John Knox Press: the Old Testament Library and New Testament Library. The whole bundle, which is also available in component parts, includes a full set of 31 Old Testament commentaries, a series of 15 New Testament commentaries, and topical monographs for both … Continue reading OT and NT Library from Westminster John Knox, Now in Accordance
This is the sermon I preached to my congregation last Sunday, after the U.S. Presidential Election. If you prefer audio, that is here, with a downloadable podcast version here. (It’s the sermon at the top, “The Long View.”) The text follows. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD … Continue reading Donald Trump, the Church, and Jesus: The Long View
I wrote about the Psalms as descriptive and prescriptive not long ago: The writers of the Psalms give language to the whole range of emotions: from gratitude to fear, from joy to lamentation, from petition to thanksgiving, from intimate, private prayers to national, corporate prayers. In this way they are eminently descriptive of the human … Continue reading Psalm Songs: The Best New Worship Music You Might Not Have Heard Yet
This is the text of the sermon I preached the Sunday after Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers were shot to death. Michael Brown’s homicide in Ferguson, Missouri was almost two years ago. His encounter with a police officer set off a wave of protests and brought a conversation about … Continue reading After Philando Castile: The Christian’s Calling
It’s getting way past old: Senseless murder. Institutionalized bias and racism. Sheer evil in action. Too-easy-to-access AR-15s used to kill in times of peace. There’s more to say than any single blog post could. I simply want to suggest here a resource for worship service planning for this Sunday. After looking through a host … Continue reading After Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Dallas Police… How to Pray in Church Sunday?
Engagement with the Psalms—reading them, owning them, singing them, praying them, and taking cues from them—is vital for robust worship and spiritual formation in the church. If they truly are “a Bible in miniature,” as Luther has said, they offer the opportunity for the church to grow in its spiritual and emotional maturity. Descriptive, … Continue reading A Three-Volume, Multi-Thousand Page Commentary for Psalms Study