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Psalms: A handbook for life in a fallen world

June 23, 2011

The book of Psalms is a breathtaking portrait of life in a fallen world. A world where God truly reigns in justice and mercy on behalf of his people, but where that reign has yet to be fully recognized, or even to take complete hold of the hearts of his own people. It is thus a portrait of life “in the meantime”—the time between the promises of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness to deliver his people and establish his reign, and the realization of those promises. As such, this book gives poetic expression to the full range of human emotion and experience during this meantime, from the pit where life is shrouded in darkness and despair with no sign of God’s presence (e.g. Ps. 13) to the very dwelling place of God where our hearts overflow in desire and praise (e.g. Ps. 84), and everywhere in between.

At the same time, the book of Psalms is far more than a collection of God’s people’s words to God; it is preeminently God’s divinely revealed word to his people. As such, the Psalms not only express human realities, but instruct us in how we should respond to God amid those diverse realities—with honesty, patience, joy, trust, praise, and hope in the God whose steadfast love and faithfulness endure to all generations, being manifest supremely in the person and work of Jesus Christ. In this connection the Psalms present an abiding word to the people of God in Christ, who wrestle with many of these same realities during a similar “meantime”—the time between the victory Jesus won on the cross and the fulfillment of all God’s promises in a new creation at Christ’s return.

If you live in the MetroWest area of Boston, I invite you to join us at Westgate Church on Sunday mornings as we spend the summer months exploring the Psalms in a series entitled, “Walking with God in the Meantime: The Christian Life through the Lens of the Psalms.”  Our selections come from Book 1 of the Psalms, chapters 1-41.

You can listen to recent sermons here.

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