Lectionary Reflection for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Psalms for All SeasonsThis excerpt comes from Psalms for All Seasons, commenting on Psalms 42 and 43:

Psalm 42, the first psalm in the second of the Psalter’s five books, is an expression of profound longing for God in the midst of depression. The psalmist’s hope is buoyed by two memories: a rousing procession into temple worship and the cascading waterfalls that sing God’s praise as they fall from Mt. Herman. Thirst for God amidst tears is quenched with the memory of this cascading water.

Its lament is answered first in Ps. 43, in which the refrain from Ps. 42 is repeated, but now in the context of greater hope and confidence. It is further answered by the visionary words of Ps. 72 (the last psalm in the second book) that portray the shalom of God’s future kingdom.

Psalm 43 is a prayer for justice in the face of injustice. The psalmist believes that God not only commands holiness but enables it by sending out light and truth to lead the people along the way.

Because the psalm concludes with a refrain from Ps. 42, Pss. 42 and 43 are sometimes treated as a single unit and are often sung or prayer together.


Prayers for reflection:

O God, our Help in past, present, and future days,
you know our deepest thoughts and needs before we can even express them.
When our world turns upside down, help us to remember happier days—
not as something lost, but as a foretaste of good things yet to come.
We pray in the name of the coming King. Amen.

God, you are light and truth.
When our world seems dark and our days filled with lies,
fill our hearts with your joy and our lips with songs of praise to you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—now and forever. Amen.


©2012 Faith Alive Christian Resources. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.