News and the Good News

The Psalm for The Week: April 26th

Psalm 116: For the week of April 26—May 2

Calling Upon God

Bottling things up is unwise. We know, in a very ordinary matters, that naming challenges has a way of making them manageable. When we tell someone that our house is filled with clutter, or the car is maing a funny sound, or that our office workload is too much, we have taken the first step in developing a coping strategy. What we are facing become a more manageable. Importantly, we save ourselves a lot of unhelpful rumination.

Calling upon God is, well, what the Psalms are all about. In distress, in joy, in lament, in pain and sorrow, with concerns, with thanks. In this particular song note the affection for God, “I love the Lord, because he ahs heard the voice of my supplication.” There is a history behind this. We can imagine many times the Psalmist has called out to God, creating a kind of track record or pattern of life that means bottling things up is less likely.

Let’s get on that track. Call out. Be general. Be specific. Empty the self of cares and concerns. And what might happen? Well, centuries after this Psalm we hear someone saying this about making supplications to the Lord: “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Peace beyond understanding. The Psalmist already set out on that track.

Psalm 116

Dilexi, quoniam

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard the voice of my supplication, *
because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him.

2 The cords of death entangled me;
the grip of the grave took hold of me; *
I came to grief and sorrow.

3 Then I called upon the Name of the Lord: *
"O Lord, I pray you, save my life."

10 How shall I repay the Lord *
for all the good things he has done for me?

11 I will lift up the cup of salvation *
and call upon the Name of the Lord.

12 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord *
in the presence of all his people.

13 Precious in the sight of the Lord *
is the death of his servants.

14 O Lord, I am your servant; *
I am your servant and the child of your handmaid;
you have freed me from my bonds.

15 I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and call upon the Name of the Lord.

16 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord *
in the presence of all his people,

17 In the courts of the Lord'S house, *
in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.