Lectionary Reflection for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

This excerpt comes from Psalms for All Seasons, commenting on Psalm 119:

Psalm 119 is an acrostic psalm with twenty-two eight-verse segments, each beginning with a subsequent letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

The psalm focuses on the decrees, laws, commands, and promises of God. It depicts life as a walk or journey down a path; it lifts up the importance of a righteous heart, mouth, and voice, and righteous feet; it challenges us to treasure and take delight; it presents God’s law as both command and promise; and it gives us hope.

The carefully constructed structure of the psalm fits the message: God’s Torah represents the establishment of order and poise in the middle of chaos and strife.

Note that within the psalm’s precise and highly regulated structure there are many references to chaos and strife—including references to enemies, the arrogant, persecutors, and the psalmist’s own “wandering like a lost sheep” (v. 176).


Prayer for reflection:

Holy God,
your ways are just and your commandments are true.
Help us to understand your law, and when understanding fails
inspire us to follow you in joyful obedience, so that we may faithfully serve you,
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


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