Psalm 42 – Lament

We all know the opening lines of Psalm 42, right?

I imagine that, if I started it off, you could finish it.

As the deer pants for streams of water. . .

These words were turned into an intimate worship song a few decades ago. Many of us still remember it even today. But what if I told you Psalm 42 is actually a lament, a complaint, a pouring out of pain, hurt, fear, and more.

For starters, check out verses 1-3.

Continue reading

Lament in Silence

lament rock

The church has entered the season of Lent. This is a focused period of humility, repentance and embracing our own mortality. As my pastor has recently reminded us, Lent is not about asking, “What am I going to give up?” Rather, Lent asks, “Where have I moved away from God and how might I move toward him?”

This may happen within the realm of giving something up, fasting from a particular item that has pulled our heart away from our Father. But giving up something isn’t a magical formula—and we don’t need to give up something just to give up something, to show our own strong will. We are desirous that our hearts be uncovered, which will hopefully push us toward God as we feel our desperation. Continue reading

C.S. Lewis on Poetry

reflections on the psalmsFor my birthday, I was given a gift card to Barnes & Noble. It’s great to know the people in my life know me so well – coffee, beer and books. I’m pretty easy to please!

So I stopped in to Barnes & Noble over the weekend to browse the shelves to see if I might find a candidate worth purchasing with my gift card. I did find something. My choice fell to C.S. Lewis’s Reflections on the Psalms. I decided on it because a) I’m teaching Old Testament Survey this semester, and we’ll take a whole 3-hour session to cover biblical poetry and the Psalms and b) knowing I teach at a creative-hub, such as Visible Music College, it seems appropriate to share C.S. Lewis’s thoughts on the Psalms. Here was a creative and imaginative giant. More a philosopher and story-writer, over and above being a poet. Yet still, I believe he’ll have some beautiful thoughts to offer on the Psalms.

Here’s something I came across in the Intro chapter on God’s desire to speak, or incarnate, through poetry: Continue reading