The Book of Psalms is a collection of poems, songs, and hymns that are found in the middle of the Bible.
A book of art, in its most pure form.
Psalms have stood the test of time
Ever since the Psalms were written some 3,000 years ago they have captivated the hearts and minds of countless God seekers.
For me, the richness of the Psalms didn’t come alive until I read the book The Case For the Psalms by N.T. Wright. Amazon Link
Wright makes the argument that Psalms are a rich treasure trove that has been lost in today’s world of abundant, all be it diluted, musical landscape.
Psalms function as a mirror to the soul
Just as we need others to help us to see ourselves accurately, Psalms help us to see what is happening in our inner world. At times it can feel like the Psalm is reading you, as opposed to you reading the Psalm. They help us identify our emotions and process them to bring us to a healthier state of emotional well-being.
We are changed, and that changes how we see.
Psalms change how we see the world
According to Wright, the power of the Psalms lies in their ability to shape our worldview. How we think or how we see the world, determines our experience of reality.
When we can think about our thinking, we have the ability to claim new territory in our lives.
In a sense, it is tuning the dial on our radio so that the signal comes in more clearly.
Psalms connect your head to your heart
Music, songs or poetry that reaches us deeply, cuts through the noise and connects your head with your heart. It moves you. It takes what you think, about reality, and brings it to bear on your heart. Creating an experience of truth.
You know this in your life.
For instance, I don’t remember my Year 4 teacher in Junior School in Australia, or anything I learned in Year 4. But, I do remember one morning in Year 4, mom driving her four sons to school in our Volkswagen, and hearing Bruce Springsteen sing Born In The USA on the radio. I thought it was the coolest thing. Later that day, I belted out the chorus in the middle of class.
Music has a way of searing things into our memories and can affect us on a feeling level.
Practice at a steady tempo
N.T. Wright says that the key to making this songbook come alive is a steady diet.
Reading and praying a couple of Psalms throughout the day and proceeding through the whole book of 150 Psalms, at a steady tempo, every month. This life-giving practice you can implement by printing out one of these bookmarks and following the plan.
When you keep at it, a Psalm will sneak up on you. Like in the old days when your favorite song came on the radio. You will recall where you once were, how you are now somewhere else and give you hope for where it can take you.
May you sing these ancient songs
May they give you the words
May it voice the song of your soul
That is renewing
And will never fade