A Reflection on the Psalms

The first reading today is from Psalm 10:1-4,9-18.

When you see and experience God, what are the words that come to mind? I’ll admit that even a professional religious person, my experiences of God cannot be fully described. There are times I experience such grace, love, or heart break where words are just not enough. But God-moments are not limited to only experiences that take our breath away. There are times when our spirit cries out in words of joy and lament. In those moments, we don’t usually know what to say. We can sometimes worry about what we can actually say to God. We’re usually comfortable having God speak to us but what words can we use to speak to God?

Faith is more than just a belief; faith is also a language. The book of Psalms helps us to speak faith-language. These 150 short (and not-so-short) poems and songs all serve different purposes. Some are prayers asking for God’s help while other’s celebrate God’s creation. Some were used when the King of Israel was crowned and others were the hymns and songs sung in worship. The psalms are meant to be spoken, sung, and heard. They are faith-filled words that cover the full range of human experience and emotion. Fear and joy, sadness and love are all covered in the book of Psalms. There is nothing we can bring to God that God hasn’t already heard and the book of Psalms helps us bring our pain and joy to God in whatever words are comfortable to us.

Today’s reading is Psalm 10. This is a Psalm centered on human suffering. In the face of evil, the psalmist wonders where God is. After last Sunday’s recent terror attack in Orlando where men and women were targeted for being LGBT, that is a question we can ask too. The psalmist knows that God sees what happens and they plead for God to break the power of the wicked and evil. Their prayer is our prayer. We seek justice, love, and peace so that “mere mortals may strike terror no more.”

Each week, I write a reflection on one of our scripture readings for the week. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship Bulletin for 6/19/2016.