Opening THE Book 21 with Rev John K-S
1st February 2020
Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church
Last month I took a brief look at the last book of the Bible called 'Revelation'. We will return to this book at a future date, especially because it has often caused unhelpful speculation about the end of the world. There are indeed ancient prophecies that are being fulfilled in our present time, not least prophecies given by Jesus himself. But these need wise and careful interpretation
The Bible is such a large book - actually 66 books and my copy runs to 1250 pages! There is such a wealth of teaching, wisdom, and good news that no single lifetime could ever be enough to understand and appreciate it all. To bring us down to earth, this month I want to look at one of the most-loved books of the Bible called "Psalms?' — which is really another word for 'hymns'. There are 150 of these psalms, although the numbering of them is slightly different for Roman Catholics. The most popular is Psalm 23
"The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. He shall refresh my soul and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil and my cup shall be full. Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever"
For almost 3000 years this psalm has given comfort, strength and encouragement to those going through difficulty or sorrow. But among the 150 psalms you will find hymns and prayers for every circumstance of life and honest expressions of every emotion, for example: joy and thanksgiving (Psalms 67, 98, 100), trust in God (Psalms 91, 103, 121), sorrow for personal wrongdoing (Psalms 32, 51), anger at injustice and wickedness (Psalms 34, 37, 74), personal grief and anguish (Psalms 6, 42, 130) and wonder at creation (Psalms 19, 104, 139). But I end with the first words of Psalm 14: "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God'"
as published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine
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