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Why The Psalms?

For many Christians the most beloved portion of the Old Testament is the Psalter, the Psalms of David. In our prayer book service we read and sing the Psalms regularly. In fact there are psalms assigned for reading every day in the prayer book. Why has Anglicanism historically placed such a strong emphasis on the psalms? There are I believe several basic reasons. To illustrate these points we will look at Psalm 9, the psalm appointed for the Second Sunday in Trinity. It is found on page 376 of the BCP.

In the superscription to Psalm 9 we find the first reason for placing a strong emphasis on the psalms in our worship. The superscription reads, “To the choirmaster: according to Muth-labben: A Psalm of David.” Psalm 9 along with many other psalms, was addressed to the choirmaster. The psalms were meant to be sung. David even designated the proper tune, “Muth-labben.” Unfortunately we do not know what this tune, or any of the others mentioned in the Psalms, sounded like. But we do have the words - the psalm itself. The psalms were written for worship. When we include psalms in our worship we address and sing praises to God in the very words inspired by the Holy Spirit.

A second reason for the psalms being meaningful to us is that they bring us into contact with the saints of the past. As David poured out his heart in the many psalms he wrote the 3,000 year gulf between us is spanned. After reading the psalms we feel that we know David. He and other Old Testament saints were people like ourselves. They had the same problems, weaknesses, emotions, hopes and fears that we have today. We can learn much from there experiences. We may be encouraged and comforted by what they went through. We learn that we are not alone in our spiritual pilgrimage, that we are indeed surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

The psalms are also a most beloved part of Scripture because they express the theology of the heart. The psalms touch every human emotion. Consider the range of emotions and sentiments expressed in Psalm 9.
David felt: Thankfulness, “I will give
thanks to the Lord with my
whole heart....” v.1

Gladness, “I will be glad and
exalt thee....” v.2a

Praise to God, “I will sing
praise to thy name, O Most
High.” v.26

Confidence, “The Lord is a
stronghold for the oppressed, a
stronghold in time of trouble. v.9


Pain, “Be gracious to me,
O Lord! Behold what I
suffer from those who hate
me, O thou who liftest me
up from the gates of
death....” v.13

Hope, “For the needy shall
not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor shall
not perish for ever.” v.18

Whatever your condition, circumstance, or mood, there is a psalm for you. Some saint of the past has felt what you feel and has expressed it in a psalm. It is no wonder that the psalms have been so loved by Christians through the centuries and have such a prominent place in our worship.

by Rev. Frank M. Levi

Parish News

The Annual Parish Meeting was conducted on Sunday, April 18, 1999. The following were either elected to serve on the Vestry or are continuing their term of service:

Rector: Frank M. Levi
Senior Warden: Elaine Spencer
Junior Warden: Barney Reagan
Vestrymen: Nancy Toomey
Frank Sellers
Walter Sellers
Edwina Greco
Frances Chessman
Olive Denning
Mike Acke
Phil Smith
Rob Robertson

We wish to thank the Vestry for providing the catered luncheon, Fran Chessman who made the arrangements and those who brought cakes for dessert.

The Woman’s Guild had a Mother/Daughter Salad Supper on Saturday, May 1, 1999. At the supper Mary Fulk was honored. Mary’s daughters, Lois and Robin, and her granddaughter, Sarah, were here from Michigan and downstate Illinois. Mary was very surprised and the ladies had a wonderful time.

Congratulations
Mark Levi and Sara Olsen graduated from Wheaton College on Sunday, May 9, 1999. Two weeks earlier Mark and Sara became engaged to be married. We extend to them congratulations on both their engagement and graduation and pray that the Lord will bless their future lives together.

The 49th General Council
The Council will be held at St. John’s Reformed Episcopal Church, Charleston, SC, June 23-25, 1999. Mr. Grant Chessman will be the delegate for St. Andrew’s and his wife Fran will serve as alternate delegate. Do be in prayer for the Council and for those who will be traveling.

Prayer Request
The Rt. Rev. Daniel R. Morse, Suffragan Bishop for this diocese, was involved in a serious auto accident in April. He still remains hospitalized at this writing. The doctors are predicting a full recovery, but it will take many weeks. Do be in prayer for Bishop Morse and his wife and family.
Happy Birthday!
June 7 - Grant Chessman
June 9 - Patty Levi
June 14 - Carl Spencer
June 17 - Dave Sellers
June 18 - Paul Sellers
June 23 - Brian Stultz
June 30 - Frank Levi, Jr.

Missionary of The Month

Flag Day provides the opportunity for all to show respect for our country, its rich heritage and traditions by the proper display of the American flag.

Rummage Sale
The Woman’s Guild will be having their annual rummage sale on Saturday, June 5, 1999, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Proceeds go for Mission Outreach. Br


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