Friday, October 21, 2011

Psalm 39: Silence is Dyspeptic

I kept quiet because I knew,
Because I knew they would not hear.
They never asked for my advice,
And I chose not to wound their pride.

But silence is more than a choice.
I tried to keep the peace but lost,
Not just the winning argument,
But the silence of my silence.

I only regained quietude
When I spoke up for what was right.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Psalm 22 is an extremely dramatic psalm. It shifts from exultant praise to dejection without transition. It ends—or resolves—with the enigmatic last line: For he has done it. Done what? Accomplished what? Finished what? Speaking of God’s ultimate salvation the psalm says He has done it.

We know that Jesus wrestled with this psalm from the cross. He quoted it in despair, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? We know that the apostle John used it to understand the Lord’s death. He quoted it to explain the soldiers’ decision to not tear up his outer clothes. He explains that it happened that way—So that Scripture would be fulfilled.

I’ve become convinced that the words of this psalm are like a thought-map for the last moments of Jesus’ life. At the very fulcrum point of redemption the Lord was praying this psalm. It’s as though we have to think the dying of God’s anointed Son to understand what is accomplished in God’s righteousness. It’s almost as though Jesus himself had to experience it to understand this enigmatic line—He has done it; it is finished.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Psalm CXXXI: Prayer, like weaning

My eyes used to flash toward you,
Like lightning across a hilltop,
Searching out the highest objects,
Grazing for a point of interest.

But it's been a long dry spell now,
And thunder rolls--tickling--down dry
River beds in distant valleys,
Off the lip of my horizon.

But I am content, and lift peaceful
Meadows up to the golden sun.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Psalm CXXXVII: If I forget you, O Jerusalem

Our marriage is a memory
Of joy. The festival day of
Music, food and loud singing is
Recalled in hurried meals and sex.

Music is a strategy, a
Technology for inducing
The feeling it once reflected.
In lieu of passion we sing songs.

May we never forget the chords
Of love--the techniques of caring.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Psalm 130: Friendly Distance

...with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.

I am terrified every time
We get together. It can be
Years in between, and there is a
Lot of water under that bridge.

I don't fear that you will have changed.
And I know that my changes will
Be accepted with sincere grace.
I trust the time between our lives.

What I fear is your love--without
The friendly distance of facades.