In my early years I was influenced by many things in my life, one being poetry. In school we were taught the many facts of poetry such as its aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language. We were also taught that poetry should evoke meaning, paint a picture in your mind and have a degree of structure. My attempts often started with “Roses are red” and went downhill from there.
I will be the first to tell you my endeavor in poetry did not have the same effect as that of Geoffrey Chaucer. Known as the father of English poetry and author of The Canterbury Tales Chaucer, writes “now I beg all those that listen to this little treatise, or read it, that if there be anything in it that pleases them, they thank our Lord Jesus for it, from whom all proceeds all understanding and goodness.”
Just as Chaucer tells us to be thankful, the book of Psalms shows us that being thankful and prayer can take a wide variety of forms. It give us the means to come to prayer in a fresh state of mind and enable us to feel things that we may never have felt before. The Psalms speak to us. We cannot read very far in the Psalms without drawing the conclusion that the psalmist seems to have been reading our mind. How is it that after centuries have passed, we find a man who lived in a different time and culture expressing our innermost feelings, fears, and hopes? The answer, of course, is that we are reading the Scriptures, divinely inspired, infallible and inerrant, to be a word from God to us.
You see, The Psalms teach us that God has sovereign rule as the great King over all things. The Psalms declare our God is a great and powerful God. The Psalms are fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus. The Psalms praise God for being a just God.
I am often moved by one of my favorite scriptures, the 23rd Psalm. When I read it to myself, I can almost stop after the first nine words, “the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Those words say it all! If our Lord is our Shepherd, we will never be lonely, sad, or in need for anything. Throughout the book of Psalm there are other passages that are just as commanding, and they inspire us and cause us to be more engaged in our daily spiritual lives.
So, this week as you prepare yourselves for Sunday services, read the scriptures and be thankful to the Lord for “they are from he who proceeds all understanding and goodness”. May the poetry of the Psalms influence and affect your week.