From my Prayer Journal, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 – Advent II
Some extraordinary things have been happening with the Psalms, this Advent season. It probably began in earnest when I discovered an instrumental album interpreting Psalm 24 – Lift Up the Gates. That was Friday, December 2. Then, the following Tuesday, I composed my first Psalm (30) in over six years. And only the fourth song ever [along with 19, 95, and 96]. Since then, I’ve been sharing with several people about where this might be heading. I’ve spoken with Vicki, of course, but also with Joy – Kris Knarr, Amy Brown, and I reached out to Tim Plimpton in our KCC group. About composing. For that to come to fruition, I need to receive grant funding for this project. Or maybe some other source.
What the project looks like is a new Psalter. (To go with that prayer book I’ve been contemplating.) I singable, word–for–word Psalter that breathes musical life into the Psalms. And enables folk to memorize them. And maybe we set the tone, invite other collaborators. I’m not as clear about what belongs to me, and what might benefit others. And I’m moving far too fast to communicate with myself, much less other people.
Because this is far more than a project. It’s a key to a portal. That’s the part that’s most difficult to articulate. And scary to contemplate articulating. But if I can’t write it here… The idea stems from the notion of transformation in Psalms – particularly from lament to praise. I had known that before. But what if the Psalms could usher us into the reality of God’s kingdom – the third Temple of Ezekiel’s vision?
These musical, ancient prayers create a world of righteousness for the righteous. They create a new Torah, or an echo invoking the Torah, in which God’s people are re-formed into God’s promised reality – The kingdom of God.
Like a tree by a flowing stream. I do not seek to understand these words – they comprehend me. The song reverberates with my heart from a time before time – these ancient, timeless songs.
We are preparing the way in our hearts and minds and lives for Christ to receive us into his arms in the throne room of Heaven. A new world where justice is done and love prevails.
We sing, and somehow, in the midst of our Psalm/song, the gates give open and reveal the dazzling light of God’s glory shining on our lives and giving light to the world.
These are no mere incantations. They do what they sing – perform that which they proclaim. A kingdom – peace on earth.
They make only God relevant. All other things are your irrelevant. All else is discord. My striving. My fears. My sinfulness. Swallowed up in victory. These are songs of war – of a battle won in God’s power and presence. I live – we live in a wasteland of our own delusion. Sing me a song, O God, and I am tasting and inhabiting/inhabited by your presence, filling my life. With the music of your love.