Praying with the Psalms: Praise

During this season of Lent (February 22-April 8), we are immersing ourselves in the rich poetry of Psalms to explore how it can deepen our spiritual lives and connection to God. You may recall that on the last two Sundays we focused on hard and unpleasant emotions: anger and lament. On Palm Sunday, we’ll focus on a more upbeat emotion: praise. But praise is ambivalent too. Matthew 21:1-12 talks about the cheering crowd praising Jesus on his arrival in Jerusalem because they expected to be finally saved from the Romans. They didn’t understand the meaning of Jesus’ actions: to give them eternal… Read More

Praying with the Psalms: Lament

Dear Ones, When was the last time you “ugly cried”? Screamed in your car? Visited a rage room? What if I told you that all of those activities could be incorporated into a spiritual practice? This Sunday, we’re diving into the concept of Lament. Lament is an action word, not an emotion; it’s how we use our bodies to express and metabolize emotions such as grief or anger, and it’s how we share those feelings with God most authentically and unabashedly. We’ll hear a reading of Psalm 6, and explore how lamenting is truly an embodied practice that we can engage in… Read More

Praying with the Psalms: Anger

During Lent (February 22-April 8), we are steeping ourselves in the Psalms, this ancient poetry of generations of the faithful, as an entryway for our personal and collective prayer lives. The psalms are full of all sorts of emotions, including the unpleasant and hard ones: anger, lament, fear, depression, revenge, retaliation. Many of us grew up learning to avoid expressing these hard emotions and sometimes feeling bad about ourselves if we did. And when the psalms express revenge and retaliation, even the destruction of our enemies, it’s a little hard to take. But anger, lament, fear, revenge and the like… Read More

Praying with the Psalms: Comfort and Encouragement

REMINDER: Daylight Savings begins this Sunday, set clocks forward one hour. During this season of Lent (February 22-April 8) we are immersing ourselves in the rich poetry of Psalms as a way to explore how it can deepen our spiritual lives and connection to God. On the Third Sunday of Lent, we’ll hear the well-known Psalm 23 that talks about our personal relationship with God through the famous metaphor “The Lord is MY shepherd”. We will ponder the meaning of this metaphor by asking ourselves: How does the relationship between shepherd and sheep work? To David, who was a shepherd before becoming… Read More

Praying with the Psalms: Longing for God

During Lent (February 22-April 8) we are steeping ourselves in the Psalms, this ancient poetry of generations of the faithful, as an entryway for our personal and collective prayer lives. The poetry of the 150 psalms covers a broad range of human emotion: praise, elation, awe, remorse, despair, anger, frustration, gladness, revenge, love. When we’re willing to enter into them, to make them a regular part of our lives, they show us in poetic ways what it means to be human. And what it means to long for God. The writer of Psalm 42 gave us the classic line: Just like a… Read More

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