Online Sunday School, Discovering the Psalms Kerygma Materials
Kerygma Materials
Chapter Three, Prayer Book for God’s People

1. Psalm 84 reads:

1. Psalms were well known to Jesus and the Gospel writers and early Christians. Jesus refers to them in Luke 20: 42 and in his resurrection appearance in Luke 24, 44 says “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Paul refers to “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” in Ephesians 5, 19 and Colossians 3, 16. Bonhoffer and Luther referred to the Psalms as summarized by the Lord’s Prayer and therefor as the prayer book of the Christian Church.

2. Today marks the first week of Advent, the season of looking forward to the coming of Jesus. In Luke’s gospel the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces her miraculous pregnancy, as well as that of her formerly childless cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist. Mary visits Elizabeth and John leaps for joy in Elizabeth’s womb. Mary then, at Luke 1, 46, says the hymn, often called the “Magnificat” from its first word in Latin:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

5. The Magnificat is poetic like the Psalms and resembles Psalms of praise, thanksgiving and enthronement. Here the author of Luke has Mary interpret the angel’s message theologically in light of Old Testament teachings that God aids the poor and simple rather than the rich, (see Psalm 82, 3–4; Psalm 140, 12; Leviticus 19:15; Isaiah 40, 23-29; Zephaniah, 2, 5-14) , and that God fulfills promises made to Abraham (Gen 15, 1-6 and 17, 1-8) and David (2 Samuel 7, 11-16). Like Psalms, its poetry of the meaning of Jesus inspires personal humility, deliverance and inspiration. Daniel Casey describes it as “ a magnificent canticle of thanksgiving and liberation through three different metaphors: as a tapestry; as a song; as a journey.

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Comment as College Hill Community Church – PCUSA

14. A number of the most familiar biblical passages, used in sermons and hymns, are lines from Psalms:a. Psalm 30, 5 “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”b. Psalm 1, 3 They are like trees planted by streams of water”c. Psalm 24, 1 “The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it,”d. Psalm 13, 1 “1 How long, O LORD?”e. Psalm 98, 4 and 100, 1. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth”f. Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”g. Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?”

Are there other lines from Psalms that are particularly meaningful to you. What are they?

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