11. The Prayerful Jesus


1.Wandering through the Psalms

Ephesians 5:15-19
It has been said that while that most of scripture speaks to us the Psalms speak for us. An old prayer favoured by Jewish Rabbi’s expresses the core of the Psalms this way:
Where I wander–You!
Where I ponder-You!
Only You, You again, always You!
You! You! You! When I am gladdened–You!
When I am saddened–You!
Only You, You again, always You!
You! You! You!
Sky is You! Earth is You!
You above! You below!
In every trend, at every end Only You,
You again, only You! You! You! You!
(Tales of Hassadim, Buber)
The Psalms are prayers addressed to a known, named and identifiable You. They are an invitation to enter into a conversation with a God of mercy and justice. They draw us into a place where from our own experience, and from our own faith we can engage our imagination to embrace an impossible alternative that becomes suddenly possible by his sovereign grace. Psalms is a collection of “poems that express a wide variety of emotions, including love and adoration toward God, sorrow over sin, dependence on Godin desperate circumstances, the battle of fear and trust, walking with God even when the way seems dark, thankfulness for God’s care, devotion to the word of God, and confidence in the eventual triumph of God’s purposes for the world.”
Psalm 1 and 150 provide the bookends of a journey from obedience to praise. Within them are found both suffering and hope as we engage as Walter Brueggemann puts it in a determined, enthusiastic, uninterrupted, relentless and unrelieved summons that will not be content until all creatures–all of life–are ready and willing to participate in an unending song of praise that is sung without reserve or qualification. They will give you a sense of security and gratitude toward God so that you may live in the world without fear, in the community of God. They will disorient you as you struggle with hardship, pain, abandonment which are contrary to how you expect life in relationship with God to be. Then they will bring you to a new understanding or orientation which bears ‘witness to the surprising gift of new life just when none had been expected’ (Brueggemann).
The apostle Paul invited you to give evidence to the presence of the Holy Spirit within you by singing Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Start today to look at the psalms as a conversation between you and God and let him speak to you.
1.Do you like to read the Psalms?
2.Do you feel content with your life and relationship with God?
3.Would you like to be ‘re-oriented’?