day 31 – put a psalm in my heart

What stands out to you as you read Psalm 79-81 with me today?

This morning we ponder Psalm 79, the words of those doing the exceedingly hard labor of lament over profound, personal loss and devastation. What stands out to me today are the three reasons the psalmist offers to God for him (God) to step in and do something, and now:

1. Do something for our sake: “Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.” (vs.8)

2. Do something for us for your own sake: “Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.” (vs.9)

3. Do something for the sake of those yet to believe: “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?'” (vs.10)

At mid-day today we reflect on Psalm 80, more words from a community doing grief work. The thing that captures my attention the most this time through this psalm is the vividness of the metaphors for this community’s grief, namely that grief is their food and drink:

“You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.” (vs.5)

Tonight we meditate on Psalm 81, a liturgical word of prophetic warning (similar to Ps. 50). My eyes keep coming back to these words, probably because I watched the first half of the eclipse of the super blue blood moon this morning:

“Sound the ram’s horn … when the moon is full, on the day of our festival … When God went out against Egypt …” (vs. 4-5)