Playlist - Sampling the Psalms
The Psalms are commonly called the hymnbook of the people of God. For centuries God’s people have read, prayed, recited and sung these precious words to and about God. Theologian John Calvin called the Psalms “an anatomy of the soul.” While the Psalms are ultimately about God and His purposes in the world, they also deeply explore what it means to be human and the dynamics of our relationships with God, the world and each other. For all of these reasons, the Psalms will provide rich food for our souls during these summer months. We will begin our series with three introductory sermons, flying at 30,000 feet above the entire Psalter. After that introduction, we’ll once again “sample the playlist” of the Psalms. Like the old school mixtape, this survey will be a collection of especially meaningful Psalms both in the history of God’s story and in the stories of each teacher within the series. These ancient songs and poems are ever-relevant to the ever-changing seasons of our lives. Be prepared to rejoice, cry, sing and maybe even dance to this treasured playlist.
Some of you are old enough to remember swapping stacks of vinyl records and playing different songs at a party. Some of you hipsters have rediscovered that and think vinyl is cool again. Others of us remember what it's like to make a mixed tape. Maybe we made one for a boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe you would work out or run with that precious little piece of plastic stuffed inside a Sony Walkman. Yet most of us now live joyfully in a digital age. We load up Google play, iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, or Amazon Music and we queue up playlists of our favorite stuff from time to time. In many ways our lives dance to the music we make. The late Scottish statesman Andrew Fletcher once wrote:
“Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.”
"I said I knew a very wise man so much of Sir Christopher's sentiment, that he believed if a man were permitted to make all the ballads he need not care who should make the laws of a nation, and we find that most of the ancient legislators thought that they could not well reform the manners of any city without the help of a lyric, and sometimes of a dramatic poet."
What he and many have recognized is that music, poetry and creativity actually shape our story as a human race. The songs that get in our heads, that connect to the heart bring a passion and focus to our lives. They also bring out of us new songs and new poetry and new life and stories. It is God that has intended this to be so. How do we know? He has a songbook in the middle of our Bibles!
This summer we will journey back into the Old Testament and into the books of Psalms. For two months in June and July we will look at a mixed tape, a digital playlist of some of God's top 150 songs. So put on the beats headphones, our scrappy ear buds, or just let the songs play loudly in your home. We are going to dive into God's playlist friends. To see wonders in his inspired and multifaceted, lyrical Word.