Psalms 132-135   1 comment

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POST LV OF LX

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The Book of Common Prayer (1979) includes a plan for reading the Book of Psalms in morning and evening installments for 30 days.  I am therefore blogging through the Psalms in 60 posts.

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 226

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Psalms 120-134 are Songs of Ascents, which pilgrims to Jerusalem used en route to festivals at the Temple.

Psalms 132 and 133 come from the time after the Babylonian Exile.  Psalm 132 reflects the aspirations of many for the restoration of the Davidic Dynasty.  Psalm 133 celebrates the rebuilding of the Temple and the resumption of worship there.  Communal hopes for a better future mark these texts.  Psalm 134 flows naturally from its immediate predecessor; in Psalm 134 people bless God and God blesses them.

People also bless God in Psalm 135.  This text condemns idolatry and extols the greatness of God, as evident in nature and in previous dealings with the Israelite people.  The name of God, we read, endures forever.

In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a frequent refrain was

God bless America.

At the same time a new bumper sticker read,

AMERICA, BLESS GOD.

“God bless America,” by itself in that context, was incomplete, for it ignored human duties to God (while avoiding theocracy and calls for it, of course).

May we not be so concerned about obtaining divine blessings that we fall into or remain in a transactional relationship with God.  May we nurture a mindset of gratitude because it is the correct spiritual practice.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 22, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JACK LAYTON, CANADIAN ACTIVIST AND FEDERAL LEADER OF THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY

THE FEAST OF JOHN DRYDEN, ENGLISH PURITAN THEN ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC POET, PLAYWRIGHT, AND TRANSLATOR

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One response to “Psalms 132-135

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  1. Pingback: Guide Post to the Septuagint Psalter Project | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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