In this morning’s lectionary texts, it’s difficult to ignore the refrain in the Psalm Response. Psalm 119 is the longest of all and always when it appears in the daily readings, it is like a smattering of verses, chosen to present a cohesive theme. (Today it’s verses 66, 68, 76, 77, 93 and 94) The theme is impossible to miss because it’s repeated after each verse, so this morning that means six times. (Lord, teach me your statutes.) It’s an interesting progression. First, the request, then a compliment to God to be sure we have divine attention and a repetition of the request. Following that we have two requests for virtues and a promise to be faithful. Lastly, a second promise to be faithful – totally and forever. (The psalmist liked repetition! Check it out: PS 119)
When I was in elementary school, we memorized many things which have stayed in the rolodex of my mind all these years to be pulled out when needed. Even if we just remembered the refrain of today’s psalm it might help when we’re floundering sometime in our own personal dark night or in times of calamity. And having the refrain in mind, you could create the verses to fit your own situation. Why not try it? You might find a creativity that you never knew was there and a trust in God that is deeper than ever before because it is truly personal, clearly your own.