Do you ever struggle to feel close to God? Have you felt distant from God when you’re disappointed, hurt, or angry? Have you felt forsaken by God when you feel miserable, depressed, or afraid?

Maybe the Psalms can help.

During the fourth century, there was a pastor and theologian named Athanasius who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. He received word that a close friend was facing intense suffering. In order to help his friend learn how to seek God in the difficult season, he wrote him a letter about how to read the Psalms. In it, he wrote —

In the Psalms, you learn about yourself. You find depicted in the Psalms all the movements of your soul, all its changes, its ups and downs, its failures and recoveries. Moreover, whatever your particular need or trouble, from this same book you can select a form of words to fit it, so that you do not merely hear and then pass on, but learn the way to remedy your ill.

This summer, join us as we learn about ourselves, and more importantly, as we learn to trust in the God who’s written us a song for every season.


READING GUIDE
READING GUIDE
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This summer, we encourage you to open your Bibles and read through the book of Psalms with us! Use this guide to read a few Psalms each day.

JUNE
June 19: Psalms 1 & 31
June 20: Psalms 2 & 32
June 21: Psalms 3 & 33
June 22: Psalms 4 & 34
June 23: Psalms 5 & 35
June 24: Psalms 6 & 36
June 25: Psalms 7 & 37
June 26: Psalms 8 & 38
June 27: Psalms 9 & 39
June 28: Psalms 10 & 40
June 29: Psalms 11 & 41
June 30: Psalms 12 & 42

JULY
July 1: Psalms 13 & 43
July 2: Psalms 14 & 44
July 3: Psalms 15 & 45
July 4: Psalms 16 & 46
July 5: Psalms 17 & 47
July 6: Psalms 18 & 48
July 7: Psalms 19 & 49
July 8: Psalms 20 & 50
July 9: Psalms 21 & 51
July 10: Psalms 22 & 52
July 11: Psalms 23 & 53
July 12: Psalms 24 & 54
July 13: Psalms 25 & 55
July 14: Psalms 26 & 56
July 15: Psalms 27 & 57
July 16: Psalms 28 & 58
July 17: Psalms 29 & 59
July 18: Psalms 60 & 90
July 19: Psalms 61 & 91
July 20: Psalms 62 & 92
July 21: Psalms 63 & 93
July 22: Psalms 64 & 94
July 23: Psalms 65 & 95
July 24: Psalms 66 & 96
July 25: Psalms 67 & 97
July 26: Psalms 68 & 98
July 27: Psalms 69 & 99
July 28: Psalms 70 & 100
July 29: Psalms 71 & 101
July 30: Psalms 72 & 102
July 31: Psalms 73 & 103

AUGUST
August 1: Psalms 74 & 104
August 2: Psalms 75 & 105
August 3: Psalms 76 & 106
August 4: Psalms 77 & 107
August 5: Psalms 78 & 108
August 6: Psalms 79 & 109
August 7: Psalms 80 & 110
August 8: Psalms 81 & 111
August 9: Psalms 82 & 112
August 10: Psalms 83 & 113
August 11: Psalms 84 & 114
August 12: Psalms 85 & 115
August 13: Psalms 86 & 116
August 14: Psalms 87 & 117
August 15: Psalms 88 & 118
August 16: Psalms 89 & 119
August 17: Psalms 120 & 121
August 18: Psalms 122 & 123
August 19: Psalms 124 & 125
August 20: Psalms 126 & 127
August 21: Psalms 128 & 129
August 22: Psalms 130 & 131
August 23: Psalms 132 & 133
August 24: Psalms 134 & 135
August 25: Psalms 136 & 137
August 26: Psalms 138 & 139
August 27: Psalms 140 & 141
August 28: Psalms 142 & 143
August 29: Psalms 144 & 145
August 30: Psalms 146 & 147
August 31: Psalms 147 & 148

September
September 1: Psalms 149
September 2: Psalms 150


WORSHIP

WORSHIP


Height and Depth: How the Psalms Shape our Worship

God created music with the remarkable ability to engage our whole beings. The speed of a song can affect your heartbeat. Song lyrics engage your imagination and intellect. Musical notes are made of physical vibrations. Songs, quite literally, make us feel things.

These effects can be polarizing. Each of us experiences music in different ways, and the songs we love are often tied to our deepest emotions. So, it’s no surprise that song selection is one of the trickiest conversations in worship ministry, prompting the question: what kinds of songs should we sing? Should our songs be fast or slow? Loud or soft? Reverent or exciting? As you can imagine, few congregations completely agree on these questions.

Thankfully, right in the center of the Bible, God included a songbook. While the Psalms do not prescribe the exact style, instrumentation, or tempo of our church music, they do offer some insights as to the kind of worship God expects from His people. At one moment, the Psalms are bursting with raucous excitement and celebration, the next they are dark, bleak, and heavy with lament and confession. The contrast is shocking, but very intentional. And, if we’re honest, we are all familiar with this range of emotions. Our lives are full of both highs and lows; joys and sorrows.

Just take a moment to observe the people who gather for worship on Sunday morning. You’ll see a family of five bustling in a few minutes late; a squirrelly toddler running through the aisles; a business owner stressed about payroll; an elderly widow who’s just grateful to be with her church family; a new believer singing joyfully in worship; a middle school boy who would rather be sleeping; a newly engaged couple with their hands raised high; and a quiet, middle-aged couple, still processing the shock of a recent cancer diagnosis. Tired, excited, bored, distracted, weeping, rejoicing—the Psalms offer something for all of us to sing.

The Psalms give us language for the entire emotional spectrum, and if we let them shape our worship, we can prepare our hearts for the highs and lows of the Christian life. Here are a few songs we will be singing this summer to help us express the height and depth of emotions found in the Psalms:

New Songs This Summer

Here are a few songs we will be singing this summer to help us express the height and depth of emotions found in the Psalms.
Graves Into Gardens
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” - Psalm 9:1

Throughout the Psalms, we see a theme of remembrance. The Israelites gathered to remember what God had done for them—how He brought them out of Egypt; how He parted the Red Sea; how He gave them victory over their enemies. Graves Into Gardens picks up on this same theme. As we sing, we look back at the mighty works of God, and exalt Him for all His wondrous deeds.



He Will Hold Me Fast
“Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” - 3:1, 3 Psalms

In Psalm 3, we find King David at one of his lowest points. His own son, Absalom, has turned the kingdom against him. But when David has nowhere else to turn, he turns to God. He Will Hold Me Fast teaches us to trust, like David, that when we face our greatest fears, Christ will keep us secure.



Sooner Count the Stars
“Great Is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” – Psalm 145:3

Sooner Count the Stars contemplates the unsearchable nature of God. God’s greatness is beyond comparison, beyond description, beyond measurement of any kind. All of our imagery, all of our poetry and metaphors fall short of the praise Christ deserves. Yet, our infinite God calls his finite creatures to worship him, and sing for joy of all he’s done.



Jesus Is Better
“Because he has set his heart on me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name.” – Psalm 91:14

The world his full of false saviors that promise us comfort and fulfillment. But no product, achievement, or earthly possession will ever provide us the security that God gives. So, we declare that Jesus is better. He is better than any comfort, any victory, anything the world has to offer. And when everything is crumbling around us, he alone will keep us secure.



I can’t wait to spend time in the Psalms together. We will find that the Psalter influences more than just our emotions, but also our theology, poetry, physical expressions, and much more. As we gather for worship, may we be enriched and transformed by the songs of scripture.


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Evan Jarms
Gathered Worship Pastor