This summer, instead of binge-watching your favorite shows on a streaming service, we invite you to join us in the challenge to binge-read the Psalms.  With 150 "episodes" (chapters) available, ranging in content from drama to reality to music to documentary, don't be surprised if you find yourself thinking, "I can't wait to see what happens next!"  This church-wide challenge will include study guides for binge-reading and sharing with others.

In conjunction with the June 6 - July 18 sermon series, we will offer opportunities for deeper understanding and spiritual practice:
  •  TWO LECTURES by Dr. John Holbert, former Perkins School of Theology professor of Old Testament, moderated by Dr. Clayton Oliphint and Dr. Josh Fitzpatrick; and
  •  DAILY READINGS, background, and questions for reflection covering all 150 psalms (+ a bonus!).



The Book of Psalms comprises 150 ancient poems that enshrine in rich and diverse poetry the multifaceted theologies of the Hebrew people. Because the collection represents quite literally the entire history of Israel (from Ps.29, the oldest of the poems, from perhaps the 14th century BCE, to one or two psalms that may come from the 2nd century Maccabean period) we can witness the vast range of its theology from its very beginning to its actual historical end under the heel of the Greeks. We will look at representative psalms from the entire collection in order to examine the amazing variety of faithful thought that the Psalms encompasses.

The Hebrew people and the early Christian church used the psalms to a much greater extent than the contemporary church. The psalms served as a hymn and prayer book for worship in the second Jerusalem Temple. Jesus quoted the 22nd Psalm from the cross. The early Christian Church used psalms in liturgy. There is a richness of personal and community liturgy in the psalms. The psalms include laments, general praise, poetry, wisdom, and more. The psalms are a source of faith and hope.

   episodes 1-7: JUNE 6-12 
Psalms 1-21, 112, 113, 141-143

   episodes 8-14: JUNE 13-19 
Psalms 22, 50, 52, 53, 55, 57, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 114-116, 145, 146

   episodes 15-21: JUNE 20-26 
Psalms 23-29, 40, 41, 43-49, 117-121, 144, 147, 149, 15

   episodes 22-28: JUNE 27 - JULY 3 
Psalms 30, 54, 56, 58, 59, 61, 63, 65, 67, 69, 70, 71, 122-127

   episodes 29-35: JULY 4-10 
Psalms 42, 72-89, 128-133 

   episodes 36-42: JULY 11-17 
Psalms 51, 93-99, 101-111, 135-140

   episodes 43-44: JULY 18-19 
Psalms 90-92, 100, 134, 151

As you read and study the Psalms, you will soon conclude that Ps.23, easily the most familiar of the poems, is in fact rather unusual in the list. Far more common are the psalms of lament and complaint, comprising perhaps 40% of the total. We will more closely examine some examples of complaint/lament psalms. In addition, we will look at some psalms that might be called “off-beat,” poems that do not easily fit into any category, yet played significant roles in the faith life of ancient Israel.


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