Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Tweeting the Psalms: Book I

I've been tweeting through the Psalms, with one tweet for each Psalm (using the hashtag #psalmtweets). I've just finished the first book of the Psalter and have pasted them below – in case you're one of those Normal people who don't sit around reading tweets.

Psalm 1: The bad life is a busy life, full of bluster and bustle; the good life is a reading life, full of the joy of Torah. 

Psalm 2: While the righteous sit reading (Psalm 1), the Messiah (who is their shade) sits too, observing history like an umpire.

Psalm 3: Surrounded by a thousand enemies, all armed to the teeth, I lie down for a nap while You disarm them, breaking their teeth.

Psalm 4: At night I lie down in the darkness, and Your face shines over me like a lamp.

Psalm 5: When I wake in the morning, Your love covers me like sunlight and receives my song.

Psalm 6: At night I lay in my bed and wept; but it was Your heart (softer than pillows) that I rested on and drenched with my tears.

Psalm 7: I'm surrounded, defeated, ruined! Oh my love, rise up! Arise in Your beautiful justice and doom!

Psalm 8: The stars are a minor achievement (Your finger-painting). Humanity is Your masterwork; the stars gaze down admiringly.

Psalm 9: At the doors of death I met You and we rose together, singing all the way.

Psalm 10: They prey upon the poor, turning misery into profit; they think You (who live among the poor) will not see.

Psalm 11: When I am hiding from the world, Your eyes find me; You keep me like a secret.

Psalm 12: Lies, lies, lies! The whole world lives by lying. But You are allergic to falsehood; Your words are purest truth.

Psalm 13: "Why have You forgotten me? Why are You hiding?" (sung to the tune of Pharrell Williams, "Happy".)

Psalm 14: The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." I feel that way sometimes myself. What do You think?

Psalm 15: As my mother always said, wash your hands before you come to the Table.

Psalm 16: Even in hell Your song won't leave my heart. I will follow Your path out of the darkness, and sing my way to You.

Psalm 17: Oh look at me forever! And like a holy Narcissus I will study my reflection in Your eyes, and sink into You.

Psalm 18: When You saw me in hell You were furious. You struck like a thunderbolt; hell quaked; You plucked me like a flower.

Psalm 19: What the Law says, the stars say too; nature and Torah rhyme. (O let my heart rhyme with them too!)

Psalm 20: Some put their hope in politics and some in the economy, but we remember You.

Psalm 21: The family of Your anointed one will stretch its branches through history; the family trees of Your enemies will be shrubs.

Psalm 22: O why (I will shout Your name) have You (and the graves will be emptied) forsaken me (and all nations will praise You).

Psalm 23: My life is a day in the desert, but You know where the wells are; my death is a night in the desert, but the things I fear fear You.

Psalm 24: Even the creaking hinges sound like music when the doors swing open to admit You.

Psalm 25: My life has been one false step after another, and at every step I've only met Your kindness; Your love is my path.

Psalm 26: You are my only path (so judge me!), my only truth (so test me!), my only vision (so burn my heart clean!).

Psalm 27: Each day I seek You as if I'd never found You, and find You as if I never had to seek.

Psalm 28: When You were silent, my heart lay down in the grave. But You answered! And my heart stood up singing.

Psalm 29: The wind and the rain and the lightning and the flood – even in bad weather, everything reminds me of You.

Psalm 30: O You magician of the heart! You turn mourning into dancing, death into Disneyland, the howling of hell into a choir!

Psalm 31: Like a bird that sings once before dying, I will die into You and my death will be my song.

Psalm 32: When I finally got the courage to confess my sins, I realised You weren't even listening. You were singing to me.

Psalm 33: I will sing to You, Maker and Lover and Keeper of all things; I will take up a part in the song the whole earth sings.

Psalm 34: I cry (and You are near); I am destitute (and You are the light in my face); I am crushed (and You treasure my bones).

Psalm 35: Remind my heart of Your goodness. Remind my weary body how to sing. And I will teach every aching bone to praise You.

Psalm 36: Your Love is my mind's home; Your Wisdom is my life's well; and by Your Light (my sun, my lamp) I live and drink.

Psalm 37: You are my home, my inheritance of unaffordable real estate, my utopia; You are a world good enough for my children.

Psalm 38: When I forgot You, I lost myself. O remind me! Tell me Your name! Tell me who I am, and that's what I will be: Yours.

Psalm 39: Like a series of still images projected on a screen, each human life is only a frame: but You see the moving picture.

Psalm 40: Your Torah is planted deep in my body. Therefore I will speak. I will act. I will trust. I will wait.

Psalm 41: Because I remembered the poor (Your friends), You will remember me when my friends forsake me.


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