This summer in worship, we’ll offer three short series on books of the Bible. We hope this will be a chance to go a little deeper, even in the summer when we tend to be coming and going more often. The first series is on the Psalms (we’ll focus on Jonah and Ruth later this summer).

“The book of Psalms,” writes theologian Walter Brueggemann, “provides the most reliable theological, pastoral, and liturgical resources given us in the biblical tradition. In season and out of season, generation after generation, faithful women and men turn to the Psalms as a most helpful resource for conversation with God about things that matter most.”

The Psalms are often understood as the hymnal of the Second, and likely the First, Temple period, the sacred poetry of ancient Israelite and Judean worship. Like much of the Hebrew Scriptures, they seek to address the central crisis of this period: the exile. The exile was a historical crisis that began with the deportation of Judeans to Babylon in 597 BCE; continued with the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BCE; and lasted until 539 BCE when Cyrus of Persia allowed the exiles to return. With everything turned upside down, they wondered:  Where is God? How has our relationship with God changed? Is God one who can be counted on in the most difficult times?

The language of the Psalms is rich and can accompany us through many days – of both joy and of sorrow. This series is intended as a season for all of us to be invited into the world of the Psalms through sermons, music, liturgy, and reflection. “The Psalms,” John Calvin writes, “can incite us to lift up our hearts to God and move us to ardor in invoking and exalting with praises the glory of [God’s] name.”

June 12:  Psalm 13
June 19:  Psalm 46
June 26:  Psalm 121
July 3:   Psalm 42
July 10: Psalm 104, which will also be the theme of this summer’s Mission X, “Wild Wonder Creation Care Camp” for kids (rising K-6th grade, July 11-15, 9:00am-12:00pm