If you felt the gap while I was away writing things architectural, there are unceasing Psalms via unlimited texts on 07729056452. I flatter myself.
Ps73-74 Job revisited. Over problematising the problem of evil is a demanding all knowledge without acknowledging the challenges present by what we *do know*. Trying to make sense of suffering is intellectually exhausting v17 and an exercise in distraction from worship. Rather, let us take as much as we *do know*, as much has been revealed of God v28 and his goodness v1, and take this as an intellectual sanctuary v17 and out of that safety live a life less bitter v21, less envious v3 and increasingly certain. Doxological epistemology as an antidote to that temptation to introversion in the face of the problem of suffering. Or on why we should not suffer in silence. .. Ps 74 Memory. God doesn't have a memory surely? Like, how can a train get lost? God's memory is our best analogy for the not-known and not-mended of the not-yet in which we now live? In such petitions we appeal to God's selective memory, that he would make the past present (as memory does). God please remember: the congregation v2 you chose and loved in the past; the covenant v20 you promised and kept for them in the past. We ask of God's memory, selective forgetting for our sins Hb8v12. If God is Reality, if he forgets something, it ceases to exist. Accordingly, he can't forget it unless it ceases to exist (syllogistic salvation?). So death. So the Cross is God's only and sufficient forgettery. Let's not settle for an anemic amnemonic God, but a warm blooded incarnate One who bled for the forgetting of our sins. .. Also interesting here is the translation of v3's perpetual ruins. Ruins, memory, perpetuity, lamentation and Coventry cathedral deserve an Is58v12 text of their own. .. Blameless ones, God sees a sinless you. So, forgetting what lies behind..
Ps75-76 The name of God and the glory of God. 75V1 God's name is near us 76v1 God's name is great in israel, in the community of those in love with Him. This is why we should pray the Jesus prayer, allowing God's name to be our thoughts' pattern and cry. Jesus name should be woven into the very fabric of our being, closer that breathing. & contained within this prayer-as-breathing a fear and trembling, a breathless awe before the God to be feared, worship for God the almighty holy other, God the righteous judge, God to whom I am subject, God who sees me as I am, reverential worship wells us in both these psalms as today we repeat and treasure the name of God. Breathlessly breathing Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
Ps77-78 Pray out loud. It makes a difference for me in my praying. Aloud. We are bodies embodied, let us engage everything that is of God in the movement of air, wind, breath and in singing, sounding, speaking an aloud prayer that is entimed, that enters a room, that echoes, that carries one out of oneself, out of half-finished half-felt sentences of interior monologues. In a similar way, to some extent, texting has forced me to pray in whole sentences and so to curtail my self-deception. Pray aloud for a time will come when you may cease to be able to v4 as Rm8v26. .. Speak aloud to God, speak aloud to the flock 78v2. Speak aloud and teach our children to speak aloud v6. Speak aloud because God has spoken in giving a testimony and written law v5 .. Preach the gospel, use words if you have to. You have to, fairly quickly fairly often. (Analogous to talking about sex: not using words with a frequency and weight commensurable with the power and value of sex is a symptom of dysfunction and a recipe for misconstrued misinformation). Preach the gospel, because if our generation assumes it, our children's will forget it and their children will deny it. Preach the gospel, use words, cite history, at length v72, for ours is an apologetic for the long faithfulness of God from the long faithfulness of God. Oh hope in God. Cycles of church pain can be broken. Hope in God, Is49v15. Unforgotten unforgetters.
Ps79-80 The Lord is still still still my shepherd, 79v13 80v1 Thank you God, for your shepherding us as night falls, thank you for being our shepherd this evening. Teach us to be sheeply, but not sheepish. And teach us to image you in being rightly shepherdly to the flcok you have given us. 79V1-3 v10, bodies and blood, as we think about embodiment ... God thank you for making out bodies the site of our meeting you, where we may experience sickness, shame and persecution, you bring your infinite glory into our finitude. You are the God who meets us boundlessly, though we are bounded. What a glorious mystery. 80V8 Roots. Rootedness and flourishing and being kept alive v18 ... I don't need to hear anything more on the virtues of rootedness now ... Lord, rather, please lead us in embodying it in the grapevine belovedness that is our true identity. We long to know you, merciful and good God.
Ps81-82 v1 Aloud again, because in these two days I have forgotten again. ESVSB: The privilege of hard words. True. Oh for a hard word heard well. And rejoiced in. Hard words, soft people, there's today's Driscollism, hard but not harsh Pr15v1. God correct me by hard breaking of my resistance to gentle ways.. v10 Open wide. Ours is a bacon and eggs reality. Let us never not tell that, emphatically, ours is a feasting God. Perhaps a meditation on this mouth fast-ened open, how wide and long a wait between fillings? Fortnightly v3? Combining the parade of 81, the gods and injustice of 82, and probably some of my Carlyle hangover, I am put in mind of the They Don't Care About Us video. In so far as we are gods, let us dance a deliverance of the needy from the wicked.
Ps83 Shame v16-17. Let me think about shame some more, not because it's impressive or intelligent or any other idol, but this seems to be a real calling for this time. Because it matters, and because of Jesus. These two verses tell us of the way that shame can put us in touch with reality, it can have us acknowledging that there is a God. Shame can reveal ourselves to ourselves and so v16 have us seeking the saviour we need. So use us move us, and them, Jesus. Maybe v16 is a right and healthy shame, which can bring us to life, while v17 is a pathological shame that leads to death (doesn't quite work) – but shame is a choice, of the Dt30v15 kind. How will we respond in our shame? How will we enable others to respond in their shame? Choose life. Jesus make this concrete, and heal me and forgive me please, I choose life. I choose life, and the unashamedness that comes with holy shame brought before you. Please being yourself into our work and words on shame and shaming.
Ps84 How lovely is the dwelling place of God, lovely in its loveliness because it is God's home, and our longing for home and dwelling is bound us with our longing for God. On this, Simon May in 'On Love' defined love as that which roots us, that by which we are at home, so defining his phenomenology of love in terms of a phenomenology of home, which I'm not sure of, but it draws us to thinking about a phenomenology of home. What is being-at-home and not-being-at-home like, really? This longing desperately faithing for the courts of God, and the joy of being-there where he is speaks of something of this. Let us nest close by you Lord, for it is so blessed, may we lay our young at your altar that they would experience your beauty from birth in this dwelling there is singing v2,4 surrendering v5,12 strengthening v5,6 supplication, shielding v9 and springing-up of life v6. Springs of living water, longed for, springs that spring up in the dwelling place of God, where we are to make our home. Oh lets let this be a psalm for the prayer room that will be.
Ps85-86 v8 Forgetful ones. Remembering our God is near. On which basis alone we can dwell poetically, and gloriously thus: v10-11 if we are spatialising Nature-and-Grace, it is a lover's embrace. Dear ones, this here is Holy Play, the interplay, that minglement of God among his creation. Balletically, romantically, God dwells, among us, This is the Holy entanglement we image and experience in Play. And so, warmed by the sun of righteousness, sapling faithfulness buds from the ground. Oh God is so involved. 86 v2 Godliness is a being and a doing: we Are his image bearers 82v6 but we avoid disfiguring that image only in so far as we Do trust that God is God. Trusting is a calling upon v7 is a lifting up souls v4 is a crying out v3. Trusting is prayer and a learning to pray. V11 Teach me to pray and to be one single-minded one in a unity of mind-heart-body towards a steadfast pursuit of the one thing.
Ps87-88 88 An honest psalm in times of acute distress, but also for the day-by-day and the now and for all these things in modelling desperation in prayer, persistence in prayer and faithfulness in prayer, actually. God make us desperate, persistent and faithful, alongside the joy, certainty and promise of 87. Let us take hold of this for London, and for our London, starting with our flock – v3 glorious things of you are spoken, oh city of God. May we know that we are citizens of Zion and so v7 sing and dance and excel creatively in every direction specifically and personally, bursting forth all into springs, springs of living water. Let's take this as a word to us specifically, this will be, let's take God at his prophetic promise.
Ps89 Our God v7, Our God, is an awesome, Awesome God, and singing of his love forever is how our psalmic days should start: the verse one of my penning January's ninth numbered day should be a declaration v1of a confidence in God's character ahead of all the day's yet unseen unhappened happenings. ... v15 Do you know the festal shout? .. Of prosperity, the counter point to Marks' ambiguous preaching in that way is a visiting the harder times with appropriate lament, as v38-51 ... v45 is my essay: we lose ornament to our naked shame for not having come as a playing youth.