Happy New Year CCOV family and friends! We find ourselves in the church season of Epiphany, which focuses on sudden perceptions or insights of God that come into our midst. Every other week Pastor Dick is revealing epiphanies in his “From Good to Great” sermon series. On the alternating Sundays when I preach, I will be revealing epiphanies in some of our beloved psalms. Psalms 29, 27, 112, 2, 121, and (of course) 23 are all in my late winter/early spring Sunday line-up. Come and hear some of the reasons why the Psalms speak so poignantly to us today, even some 3000 years after they were composed.
Here is a little background: The Psalter was Israel’s hymnbook. The Psalms communicate the Israelites’ experience of the God who came to Israel, their response to this God, their God’s glorious characteristics, their confessions of faith, and their deepest emotions. No wonder people have derived comfort from them through the ages—the whole fund of human emotions can be found in them. In general , there are psalms of lament, thanksgiving, praise, and even royal psalms used to coronate a king. We can turn to them when life gets difficult and see that we are not alone in what God’s people are feeling. We can see how the psalmist pours his heart out to God in lament—and we can do likewise. We can read incredible words of comfort like we find in Psalm 23, which we often choose for celebration of life services. We can pray and sing their ecstatic expressions of thanksgiving and praise. This Sunday I will delve into Psalm 27, which is all about being confident and fearless in life, even when suffering some terrible injustice. We, just like the psalmist, can affirm our trust in God even amid life’s troubles and become confident. And here is one of the coolest things about the Psalms: As the book progresses, the Psalms move away from so much lament on a trajectory toward a great clattering of praise at the end! Isn’t this another example of the believer’s ultimate good news? I look forward to being with you in church!