“The Psalms represent the Bible’s own spiritual root system for the great tree we call Christianity.”
This spring, All Souls will be joining together in a formational journey through the book of Psalms. Long regarded as the Church’s prayer or song book, the Psalms are among the oldest poems in the world, and have shaped the life of disciples throughout history. Many scholars have referred to the Psalms as ‘the prayers Jesus prayed.’ These 150 poem-songs paint a complex worldview of joy and lament, praise and anger, hope and despair. C.S. Lewis described the Psalms as “one of the most intriguing books of the Bible.” In many ways, however, the modern church has lost the deeply rooted connection and formation the Psalms offer.
Our hope as a community is to places our authentic lives under the shade of the Psalms. Our journey will take on three distinct places as described by Walter Brueggemann is his book Spirituality of the Psalms.
- a place of orientation, in which everything makes sense in our lives (Psalms 1, 8,19…);
- a place of disorientation, in which we feel we have sunk into the pit (Psalms 39, 51…); and
- a place of reorientation, in which we realize that God has lifted us out of the pit and we are in a new place full of gratitude and awareness about our lives and our God (Psalm 86,145…)
These three places (orientation, disorientation, and reorientation) describe the landscape of our spiritual journey. And so I encourage you to join us, by reading, singing, praying, studying, and living the psalms together as community. Below are a few resources that you may find helpful during this season. As you make this journey, please leave space for God’s voice and invite others to join you as we long to be formed together.
C.S. Lewis Reflections on the Psalms
N.T. Wright The Case For the Psalms: Why they are important
Eugene Peterson Long Obedience in the Same Direction
Walter Brueggemann Spirituality of the Psalms
Irene Nowell OSB Pleading, Cursing, Praising: Conversing with God through the Psalms
Robbie Seay Band
She Read Truth Psalms of Gratitude
He Reads Truth
Memorize a Psalm
Morning and Evening Prayers