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The Psalm for today’s liturgy is personalized by Lynn Bauman in a lovely way. Just reflecting on the first six verses, translated in a much more personal and lyrical manner than traditional English, gives us pause. See if you don’t agree. (Read aloud and stop to reflect on what is said, bringing our life situation now into the meaning, if you will.)

Hallelujah! My whole being longs to be a song in which you, my God, are always the refrain. So let this canticle of praise which is my life bring honor to your name. The music for this song began in ages past when you, O God, drew back the exiles from afar, when you rebuilt your ancient city called Jerusalem. And now it sings the healing of our shattered hearts, the binding up of all the wounds our world has caused. The chorus of stars, each named by you, sings out and adds its voice. It sings the majesty of God and wisdom’s boundless name. For God steps down and raises up in tenderness all those who live in grief; and just as surely God subverts all wickedness and casts the wicked in defeat upon the ground. (PS 147: 1-6, Ancient Songs Sung Anew)

(Can’t you just see God stepping down somewhere in the sky, picking you up out of whatever sadness clings to you and calling you – softly smiling – by your name…?)