The Psalter is a collection of poems, prayers, and songs. Collectively, they help retell the history of the Israelites by offering keen insight into their collective consciousness and their way of worship.
By taking a critical, bird’s-eye-view of the Psalter, we see it is much more intricate and detailed than what meets the eye. This hymn book is richly organized in thought and scope. It offers eight different genres (Community Thanksgiving, Individual Thanksgiving, Community Lament, Individual Lament, Royal, Creation, Wisdom, and Enthronement) that each speak truth to our way of being. Learning to hear from of these genres enhances our ability to hear from God. It even improves our posture for worship and gives us a deeper vocabulary for how we speak to God in prayer.
June 3 | Psalms 41, 72, 89, 106, 150 | The Songs of Summer
Sermon Synopsis - This sermon will introduce the shape and history of the Psalms and how the it is broken up into five books that each end in a doxology that tells the shape and history of the Israelite people while introducing 8 types of psalms: Community Thanksgiving, Individual Thanksgiving, Community Lament, Individual Lament, Royal, Creation, Wisdom, and Enthronement.
June 10 | Psalm 8 | The Song of Creation
Sermon Synopsis - Creation psalms celebrate God’s sovereignty over the created world and the special place of human beings in it. These psalms remind us that nature is our first Bible and that God’s fingerprints are all over the created order. Like in Psalm 8 when it says, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” This sermon lifts up the human need for finding God in nature and praising God for it.
June 17 | Psalm 20 | The Song of Royalty
Sermon Synopsis - Royal psalms speak of the Lord’s provisions for the Israelite kings (David and Solomon) who reigned in Jerusalem during their monarchy. This psalm blesses the kingship of David and gives God the praise for his courage and leadership. These psalms remind us of Israel’s need to bless those in authority and to see how God is using the kings to further the ongoing creation of the wold. It also gives us a glimpse in how God’s people saw God working in this world. Some things are not that different today.
June 24 | Psalm 14 | Our Song of Lament
Sermon Synopsis - Communal lament is cathartic and necessary. It speaks hyperbolic words that may not actually come to pass but words that need to be expressed regardless. In Psalm 14 you hear, “Fools say in their hearts there is no God . . . The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all perverse. No one does good. No, not one.” This level of hyperbole says something about the Israelites
July 1 | Psalm 130 | My Song of Lament
Sermon Synopsis - “Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD, Lord, hear my voice.” This is one of the most powerful expressions of lament. It is personal, vulnerable, and bare, but it also moves to hope towards the end. This level of lament opens the door for us to therapeutically speak to God and then work towards restitution and hope.
July 8 | Psalm 23 | My Song of Thanks
Sermon Synopsis - “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures . . . he restores my soul. Psalm 23 is an individual hymn of thanksgiving. It is from the lips of David thanking God for God’s provisions. We can learn a lot about this posture of praise and offering ourselves to God in this kind of prayer. This sermon explores how.
July 15 | Psalm 24 | Our Song of Thanks
Sermon Synopsis - Psalm 24 have some of the most revered one-liners: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it. Who shall stand in his holy place . . . those with clean hands and pure hearts . . . Who is this king of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory.” This hymn of communal thanksgiving reminds us of our need for corporate worship and collective praise. This sermon will focus on the power of communal thanksgiving.
July 22 | Psalm 133 | The Song of Wisdom
Sermon Synopsis - Wisdom Psalms provide instruction in right living and right faith. Take Psalm 1: “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers, but their delight is in the law of the LORD.” Or Psalm 133, “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.” Both of these psalms remind us of the need for right living and right faith. This sermon will remind us of the power of claiming the truths of these ancient wisdoms.
July 29 | Psalm 99 | The Song of Enthronement
Sermon Synopsis - Finally, there are enthronement psalms that celebrate the Lord as the rightful king. These psalms are what the trajectory of the whole Psalter points us to — a future with God as King. Take Psalm 99: “The Lord is King, let the people tremble! He sits enthroned ion the cherubim; the earth quake! He is exalted over all people. Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is He!” This sermon will cast a vision for how the Psalms point us to God’s future reign.