Yesterday we were blessed with two new people at our monthly session of “Lunch with the Psalms.” In the half-decade we have been meeting, there has rarely been any food eaten during our time together. At its inception I envisioned a short noontime meeting when workers in our downtown area could, in fact, bring their lunch and eat while we reflected on the lectionary psalm of the day. As it happens, most people find it difficult to eat and talk at the same time! Our “food” is the nourishment we get from the sharing – at first from the reading of the psalm and then from our exploration of its richness.
There are many English translations of the Psalms in the Bible and we often refer to different ones to enhance our appreciation of a verse. This morning I read the first verse of Psalm 62 from the New American (Roman Catholic) translation and found myself immediately hearing a peaceful melody from John Michael Talbot in my head. “Only in God is my soul at rest; from God is my hope, my salvation…God alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold: I shall not be disturbed at all…” In another version which he calls “the Psalms as Poetry,” Lynn Bauman (Episcopal priest) entitles Psalm 62 “Waiting in Silence.” It begins as follows. “Alone my soul awaits you in the silence, Lord, by you and only you I am restored. You are for me my solid ground, foundation firm on which I stand. Can I be shaken or seized?”
Two expressions of the same sentiment: one may engage us more than the other. This is the beauty of language and a gift of those who study ancient texts and bring them to life for us, touching us in deeper places than our heads. It is the heart that reverberates with the sounds. Speak aloud the verses above. Even better, sing them to enter into the experience of the closeness and care of such a loving God. Reach deep into the words to find what they express…
Blessings on your day!