What’s with all the Psalm chanting

From last Sunday's service bulletin at Our Saviour Lutheran Church Where do we have Psalms in the service? The Introit, the Gradual and (often) the Alleluia Verse are portions of Psalms. Sometimes, a whole Psalm takes the place of the Gradual. Also, some of the hymns we sing are paraphrases of Psalms (such as The…

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My righteousness?

What should we do with those Psalms that are so hard to pray: the ones where the Psalmist protests his innocence and his righteousness. How can we possibly pray them as our prayers? Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers: What really concerns us here is not any possible motives behind a prayer, but whether the actual content of…

The invitatory: teaching us to pray the Psalm

I've been listening to the current series on Issues, Etc. on the daily prayer offices, with Pastor Wil Weedon. If you haven't, I recommend them to you, even if you consider yourself to be an expert on them. Listening to Pr. Weedon's discussion on the Venite (Ps. 95), which is an integral part of Lutheran…

Jesus’ silence

Sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on Reminiscere Sunday Genesis 32:22–32 Matthew 15:21–28 24 February 2012 A recording of the sermon is posted here. In the name of ✠ Jesus. Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? I say to God, my rock: “Why…

And he was clean

Sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Fareham on 23 January 2011, Epiphany 4 [typos and all] Naaman is one of those characters in the Bible whose story is familiar to almost everyone who has been to Sunday School for any length of time. Every time I read or hear the story myself, images of…

Lost in silence, saved in song

As part of my preparation for preaching on Isaiah 6:1–13 next Sunday, I was reading Luther's lectures on Isaiah. I was intrigued that the translation (presumably Vulgate) he was using rendered Isa 6:5 as, "Woe is me! For I was silent", rather than the usual "I am lost". Well, some digging around ensued, with the…

The ending and the beginning

I don't know what it's like from an author's point of view, but as a reader of books I have got the impression that the two hardest things in writing a book are the beginning and the ending. The story might write itself, but how do you open it? I suppose that's why there we…