God’s first loving act is choosing us. God’s final word in all of our stories is love. Thanks be to God!
Click on the link for the Psalm above (my links show up as red words) or find it in your favorite Bible or digital Bible or listen to Psalm :
Bonus: The Lord’s Prayer is about the amount of time you need for hand scrubbing 😉
Breath Prayer: I am including breath prayers because this is the practice that I engage in most often. Sometimes, I simply manage my breathing as I would when I was singing as a warmup and strengthening exercise. This practice helps me to feel centered, strong, and connected with myself and the divine. Sometimes, I add words or intentions for the inhalation and exhalation.
I did a breath prayer video for my friends at Missing Peace.
Psalm 105 describes Israel’s long history. At the end, the Psalmist concludes with the idea that God led Israel though all of this because God wanted a people obedient to his statutes and laws. What strikes me about this psalm is that the author probably knew that Israel’s history was littered with sin and disobedience, but God continued to renew the covenant with them, desiring their restoration and not their destruction. God chooses to work with Israel and with us in spite of our disobedience, doubt, and sin. God continually rebukes, reforms, and loves her people back into right relationships because she began this relationship with the in love and no matter what, the story of God’s people will always come back to love. God’s grace, love, and forgiveness are the first words and the last words in all of our stories. Thanks be to God.
Let us pray:
God fill me with your Holy spirit. I receive your steadfast-love and release my doubts. You can always pick different words for your breath prayer. But the idea of a breath prayer is to keep it simple so I encourage you to simply find one word for each inhale and one word for each exhale.
Ok, everyone take a deep breath. Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out. Repeat as needed.
Sources and notes:
“Psalm 105 advances a single explanation for Israel’s foundational story. The whole story from the wandering of Abraham to the settlement of Israel in the land of Canaan is based on the LORD’s promise of the land to Abraham. The psalm praises the LORD, whose power is manifest in the wonderful works and acts of judgement of which the story is composed.” Mays p. 337
Psalm 105 and 106 form a thematic pair. “Psalm 105 tells how God remembered his promise to Abraham by his mighty works. Psalm 106 tells how Israel failed to remember the LORD’s mighty works in its continual sinning. The fist calls for trust, the second for repentance.” Mays p. 337
“The final verse, verse 45, discloses that the LORD had a purpose fo this kept commitment all along–the creation of a people obedient to his statues and laws. The position of this final statement at the end of the psalm gives it significant importance in the theology of the psalm in spite of its brevity.” Mays. p. 338
“There was purpose to the promise and the history that unfolded out of it. The LORD wanted a people in the midst of all the other people of the world who “keep his statues and observe his last” (v. 45). The sovereign of the universe sought to establish a colony of obedience, an enclave of those who represents and displayed his reign. This psalm has not a word to say about how God’s purse fared in Israel’s history. The psalmist, writing after the exile in all probability, knew the painful story of Israel’s repeated failures that is rehearsed in Psalms 78 and 106. But he also knew from the restoration of the people and the promised land about the power of the LORD to work out the covenant with the ancestors. So he composed a psalm that speaks only of the promise and the purpose. By it the descendants of Abraham are summoned to seek the power and the presence of their God (v. 4) because trust is the first act of obedience.” Mays p. 339
“Not only is grace the first word, but as the juxtaposition of Psalms 105 and 106 affirms, grace is the final word as well…Even after a long and sordid history of faithlessness and disobedience, God will still remember the covenant God made with the people (Ps 106:45; see also 105:8, 42), and God will act “for their sake” (106: 45). Thus, by telling the story of God’s “wonderful works,” Psalms 105-106 not only rehearse the past but also anticipate the future.” NIB p. 602
WBC Allen, Leslie C. 1983. Word Biblical Commentary: Psalms 101-150. Vol. 21. Waco, TX: Word Books, Publisher.
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. 1974. Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible. 8th ed. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Press.
Brueggemann, Walter. 2007. Praying the Psalms: Engaging Scripture and the Life of the Spirit. 2nd ed. Eugene, OR: Cascade.
Brueggemann Brueggemann, Walter. 2014. From Whom No Secrets Are Hid: Introducing the Psalms. Edited by Brent A. Strawn. 1st ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
WBC Craigie, Peter C. 1983. Psalms 1-50–Word Biblical Commentary. Vol. 19. Waco, TX: Word Books.
Creach, Jerome Frederick Davis. 1998. Psalms: Interpretation Bible Studies. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
NIB Keck, Leander E. 2015. The New Interpreters Bible Commentary. Vol. 3. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
Mays Mays, James Luther. 1994. Psalms. Louisville, KY: John Knox Press.
Miller Miller, Patrick D. 1986. Interpreting the Psalms. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press.
WBC Tate, Marvin E. 1990. Word Biblical Commentary: Psalms 51-100. Edited by David Allan. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker. Vol. 20. Waco, TX: Word.
OTL Weiser, Artur. 1998. Old Testament Library: Psalms. Translated by Herbert Hartwell. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Manchester University Press.
Other Year D Psalm blog posts:
I’m attempting a series exploring the Psalms in year D. Many churches use the revised common lectionary that rotates scripture on a three-year cycle (A, B, and C). Year D was created with the goal of including scriptures that were left out or not used as frequently as others.
I began this series in Lent 2020. These blog posts include examples of meditation or spiritual discipline or mindfulness exercises. Here are the links: Ash Wednesday: Psalm 102; 1st Sunday in Lent: Psalm 6; 2nd Sunday in Lent: Psalm 143; 3rd Sunday in Lent: Psalm 38; 4th Sunday in Lent: Psalm 39; 5th Sunday in Lent: Psalm 101; 6th Sunday in Lent Psalm 94 or Psalm 35. I went a different direction during Holy Week and dropped the Psalms for a while, but I’m hoping to pick them back up again.
I’m going to try to move forward with the Psalms so that it might be useful for worship in the coming weeks and hoping that I can also go back and pick up some of the ones I missed.
Holy Week: Palm Sunday, 6th Sunday in Lent Psalm 94 or Psalm 35, Maundy Thursday Psalm 115 or 113, Good Friday Psalm 88, Holy Saturday (Great Vigil) Psalms 7, 17, 44, 57 or 108, 119:145-176, 149.
The Season of Easter: Resurrection of the Lord (Easter) Psalm 71:15-24 or Psalm 75 or Psalm 76, 2nd Sunday in Easter Psalm 64 or Psalm 119:73-96, 3rd Sunday in Easter Psalm 60 or 108, 4th Sunday in Easter Psalm 10, 5th Sunday in Easter Psalm 49: (1-12) 13-20, 6thSunday in Easter Psalm 129, Ascension Thursday Psalm 119:145-176, 7th Sunday in Easter Psalm 115, and Pentecost Sunday Psalm 119:113-136.
Then we move into “ordinary time” which is broken up into sections throughout the liturgical year. Remember that the year starts with Advent (I started this adventure in Lent) so some of the ordinary Sundays have already happened.
Trinity -Ordinary Time- Christ the King: Trinity Sunday Psalm 35, 9th Sunday in Ordinary time Psalm 142, 10th Sunday in Ordinary time Psalm 74, 11th Sunday Psalm 7, 12th Sunday Psalm 55, 13th Sunday Psalm 56, and 14th Sunday Psalm 57 or Psalm 3.
The Apocalyptic Discourse 15th -19th Sundays in Ordinary time: 15th Sunday Psalm 17:8-14(15) or Psalm 83, 16th Sunday Psalm 54, 17th Sunday Psalm 50 or Psalm 105, 18thSunday Psalm 59, and 19th Sunday Psalm 37.