March 21, 2019 at 11:43 am #3275officeKeymaster
The Porch for March 24 19
Lent 3 – Psalm 63
Seek – not just seek, but “early shall I seek” – to seek diligently, earnestly
Soul – nephesh – soul, life, person, living being, desire, passion, appetite, emotion
Faints – yearns, to pine after, to long for
Weary – parched, famished, faint
– What kind of tone is set from the start?
– How is this psalm different already from others we’ve seen in this Lenten season?
Sanctuary – holiness, sacredness (not temple/structure)
Glory – honour, abundance, splendour
Steadfast love = hesed – a hugely important Hebrew spiritual word! = goodness,
lovingkindness, steadfast love, mercy, God’s kindness
– What does it mean to say God’s lovingkindness is better than life?
Bless – interestingly, also means kneel! Discuss!
“In your name, I will lift up my hands”
– Why is lifting hands mentioned here?
– Why do some church traditions do this?
– Why do you think ours does not?
Satisfied – filled, sated, abundance
Rich feast – lit. marrow and fatness! (choicest parts)
– Some translations put a period at the end of v.5 – how does that change the meaning of the
sentences? (v.6 the “and” changes to “I”, making two distinct statements)
Think – remember, call to mind
Meditate – to moan, growl, utter, speak, muse
– Notice the time that these would occur. Why is that significant?
Help – succor
– Notice how many times “under the wing” imagery is found in psalms.
– Why the right hand?
Said to be a psalm of David, under what circumstances might he have written it?
His physical needs serve to draw attention to his spiritual needs.
– Discuss! (true for you?)
Is praising God really as good and satisfying as “Christmas Dinner”? (v.5)
The psalmist dreams of praising God at night. How about you?
What is missing from this psalm? What doesn’t the psalmist ask for?
(e.g. safety, material things)
What does it mean to “thirst after God”?
When is the last time you longed for something of someone?
Guess how many times the words “yearning” or “longing” are found in our VU hymn book?
Why do you think that is?
The lectionary leaves out the last 3 verses. Why?
(from Working Preacher)
“Psalm 63 functions a counter-liturgy to the liturgy of consumer capitalism, schooling our
hearts in the things of God so that what we long for, what we seek, what we desire is not more
of the world, but more of God. It is explicit about directing our desire away from the things
of the world and toward the things of God.”
In silence, read Psalm 63:1 slowly several times.
Then read it again and notice which words linger or emerge.
Ponder those words. What might the Spirit be telling you?
1 O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a
dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
5 My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
6 when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
9 But those who seek to destroy my life (soul) shall go down into the depths of the earth; (as
in, away from God’s Presence!)
10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be prey for jackals.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars
will be stopped.
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