A few days ago, a recently retired professor from the Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia friended me on Facebook. I haven’t seen him in years and yet he saw my name and sent me a friend request. That’s been the extent of our interactions so far. However, I did take a gander over his facebook wall and I noticed that he’s recently started a tumblr. And I’m intrigued by its premise. It’s a personal bible study on the psalms.
In January 2000, my first wife Barbara was diagnosed with terminal cancer. One of the things we did in the months that followed, before her death on 18 May 2001, was to read a psalm together each night. The next morning I would get up and send the psalm to my daughter Emily, who was at the time a student at the College of William & Mary, along with my own reflections on it. At Christmas 2000, my daughter then gave me all of those psalms and reflections back to me as a gift. Now, all of these years later, I want to pass the gift of these reflections on to you. I hope to post one explanation each week, corresponding to the psalm appointed for the Revised Common Lectionary to be read that coming Sunday.
I especially like the reflection on Psalm 126.
And that is the restoration we also long for. These psalms seem to “burst their own boundaries,” so to speak. The psalmist may be thinking of one example remembered joy and present trial, but it so easily becomes my prayer in my situation. There is a universality about the cry of faith that spans the centuries. That is why these psalms are truly “inspired”‚Äîbreathed in by God’s own Breath and Holy Spirit.
The idea of writing a weekly reflection/bible study is a good one. It might be something I should take up to help my study beyond just sermon prep for the upcoming Sunday. Hmmm. Maybe this can be my Lenten discipline this year.