Monday, March 24, 2014

Absorbing the Psalms in Worship

We are a Psalm singing congregation, committed to learning the songs of the Holy Spirit – all songs which point to and sing about Jesus Christ our Lord.  You may have noticed that we are singing Psalm 25 again this Sunday – for we are reviewing this Psalm – relearning it, or learning it if you are newer with us.  And as we do, we learn again that there are so many emotions, so many situations, so many questions and answers found in the songs the Lord has given us in the Psalms.

Peter Leithart writes about this – and I think it is very good and important to think about psalm-singing this way.  He writes, "The perfected soul is a symphony, harmonized by the Spirit through the discipline of psalm-singing.  The psalms are expressions of deep passion, of anguish and fear, and soaring elation.  Yet singing the psalms is actually a discipline in impassibility, for through the psalms we are trained to turn all circumstances and moods into worship.  Those who sing and absorb the psalms will have a rich emotional life, but none of their passions will cause them to deviate from following the crucified Messiah.  Through singing the psalms, we are conformed to the impassible sufferer, the Word made flesh.

What do we have in the gift of the Psalms?  What is before us in the work of singing the Psalms?  What we have is the opportunity to turn every circumstance in our lives into an opportunity to worship – to turn to the Lord in sorrow and in hope, in joy and in anguish, in life and even as we approach our death.  Absorbing the psalms protects the soul – but there is work involved here.  Give yourself to the work.  Give yourself to the Word of God – read, sung, spoken, meditated over, prayed, repeated, and let the Word of God dwell in your richly.

We come to worship in the name of the Word of God, even Jesus Christ our Lord.  We come to worship the Father in His name through the power of the Holy Spirit given to us.  This is how we worship.  This is how we pray.  This is how we sing.  And through these gifts, this is how God is going to transform this world – in real time and space.  Come and change the world.  Come and worship the Lord.

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