Eugene Peterson has said that the Psalms provide us with a way of “cussing without cussing.” Percussive prophetic poetry. They are not the prayers of a pacified people, but the poems of a yearning people with shattered expectations demanding God show up in God’s covenant faithfulness.

Real people, real situations, all demanding to know where God might be in the midst of the muck and filth of real life. What if the Psalms continued to speak that way today?

Psalm 1 by Andrew Stephens-Rennie

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, who refuse to deny God’s invitation to shalom.

Shalom, the peace that passes understanding, transcends reason, baffling the insatiable wicked appetites of the conquerors looking to score in their tit-for-tat head-to-head, eye-for-eye invasions, valuing only the one who comes out on top.

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Psalm 2 by Andrew Stephens-Rennie

Why do the nations conspire?
Why do the peoples plot in vain?

Do they not know that their power is gift?
Do they not understand that their importance is only one piece of the puzzle?

Finger on the button
prepared to launch the Monster of All Bombs,

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Psalm 2 – A Prayer Litany by Nate Wall

When you took the throne; the sky opened, a cloud ascended, and the angel said:

“The world is on notice; he is coming back.”

But our kings ignore your rule, the kings of money, the kings of military, the kings of resource extraction, all the kings of the earth in bed with Babylon.

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Psalm 33 and the Ontology of Love by Brian Walsh

The earth is full of the steadfast love of God.
Dripping, saturated, soaked, running over in love.
Even against the evidence.

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Thanksgiving and Lament: Psalm 42-43 by Brian Walsh

Where is your God? Where is that God who was so close in your worship leader days? Where is that God who was on your lips in praise?

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By the Rivers of our Fundamentalist Captivity (Psalm 137) by Andrew Stephens-Rennie

By the rivers of our fundamentalist captivity we sat down and wept, and wept. And when we could weep no more, tears dried in the sun, we leapt

preaching the poetry of protest
snarling songs of salvation
songs they wouldn’t recognize
songs they couldn’t recognize as
good news.

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