Lent and the Psalms

In many churches psalms are read or sung every Sunday, or even daily, according to a regular pattern. These churches have preserved for themselves a priceless treasure, for only with daily use does one become immersed in that divine prayerbook. With only occasional reading these prayers are too overwhelming for us in thought and power, so that we again and again turn to lighter fare. […] Whenever the Psalter is abandoned, an incomparable treasure is lost to the Christian church. With its recovery will come unexpected power.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Prayerbook of the Bible

This year for Lent I'm spending some focused time in the book of Psalms. This collection of poetic, prayerful hymns has been central to Jewish and Christian spiritual devotion for thousands of years. They inform modern praise songs and ancient hymns, and the language we use when we pray to God and when we theologize about God. Both the New Testament in general and Jesus in particular quote the psalms more than any other book. Written centuries before Jesus wandered the dusty paths of Palestine, it is impossible to imagine what Christianity would be like without these 150 Hebrew poems and the depth of reflection, and the wisdom and the spiritual and human and divine insight that they contain. 

But in many of our churches they are underused and under appreciated, misunderstood and neglected. Which leads me to wonder: what are we missing? I want to encourage you to join me in reading a psalm a day for the remainder of Lent this year. I'll post the whole reading plan here in a printable format; you can find the readings for just the remainder of the season below. I should have shared this much earlier, but it is never too late to jump in. Imagine the depth and power you might experience if you just prayerfully read one psalm a day between now and Easter!

Lent Devotionals 2018 Psalms.jpeg