This semester, I had to find “space” for the Psalms. In the most practical sense, I had to figure out how to fit the course on psalms into my schedule and routine. Since it is the first independent study course I’ve taken, I also had to decide how to make the course fit me, as well. But most importantly, I had to find space for the Psalms in my life on a daily basis. I had to find a space where the Psalms could settle into my bones and become a part of who I am. I had to allow the Psalms to shape my faith and ministry.
One of the ways that I’ve made space for the Psalms in my life is to experience them through YouTube© videos. Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve watched over 60 videos on the psalms. It has actually become a very enjoyable and engaging part of my daily routine! The range is wide- from classical choir renditions composed by Mozart and Schubert, to contemporary praise music, bluegrass and punk rock. Some of them are videos of live performances. Others are slide shows put to music. Others are simply still shots of an album cover while the music plays in the background. There are also videos that feature the spoken word with images. I’ve found a predominance of videos and songs focused on psalms of praise or thanksgiving and trust with a decidedly upbeat flavor. The options have been far fewer when I select a lament psalm for my listening pleasure. And even in the event that those exist, often they’ve been whittled down to a positive verse or two and omit any sense of angst or woe from the scriptural text.
I’ve also noticed a pattern in which verses with specific references to Israel or the heritage of Israel are omitted, presumably to provide a more Christian perspective. Additionally, the videos that accompany the Psalms on YouTube© typically depict Jesus throughout. The exceptions are those Psalms videos created by the Jewish community.
Just thought I share a little bit of my experience with the psalms with the rest of you.