Walking in the Jesus Way: A Lenten Journey — Day Twenty-Two


Psalm 84, NRSV

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
    my King and my God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
    ever singing your praise. Selah

Happy are those whose strength is in you,
    in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of Baca
    they make it a place of springs;
    the early rain also covers it with pools.

They go from strength to strength;
    the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
    give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

Behold our shield, O God;
    look on the face of your anointed.

For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than live in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
    from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
    happy is everyone who trusts in you.

An early choral memory,
this psalm.
A soaring song by Brahms,
sung by high school students,
to the glory of God.
Even if they didn’t know it.

Sometimes we sing psalms
without knowing that’s 
what we are doing.
I hear birds doing it
all the time.
And the sea,
the wind through the
the cattle lowing
in the field.

And we do it, too.
Exclamations of delight,
sounds of pleasure,
even of grief.
They ring out to 
the heavens,
and the God who
reigns there.

Whether we know it,
or not.

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  1. I’m thinking the quick “Oh, thank you, Jesus!” also offers an exclamation of delight and sound of pleasure to our Heavenly Father. Just this morning ice pellets began to pepper the ground, just an hour before my husband was supposed to pick up our granddaughter from preschool. I prayed, “Lord, let this ice melt before Steve has to leave!” And praise God, He did! But there are also times when he must say, “no,” to our requests (much more serious than the melting of ice). We don’t understand why, and grief grips our hearts.
    Surely the exclamations of pain accompanied by groans of faith must be the most precious worship of all in His sight.

    • Yes, yes — all of those quick responses are psalmic, aren’t they? These are the base words for our most heartfelt and frequent praises — HELP, Thank you, praise you. Yes, yes.

  2. Let everything that has breath sing and praise the Lord!
    Blessings, Diana!