Psalms for a Pilgrim People [NOOK Book]

Overview

Neither a translation nor a paraphrase of the psalms, psalms for a Pilgrim People aims instead "to make the psalms prayable for those who find stumbling blocks in many of them as they have been variously translated into English," writes Jim Cotter.

There is much in the psalms, written many centuries ago, that still speaks to today’s reader, but there are other passages that are troubling. Cotter’s psalms take today’s realities into account by ...
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Psalms for a Pilgrim People

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Overview

Neither a translation nor a paraphrase of the psalms, psalms for a Pilgrim People aims instead "to make the psalms prayable for those who find stumbling blocks in many of them as they have been variously translated into English," writes Jim Cotter.

There is much in the psalms, written many centuries ago, that still speaks to today’s reader, but there are other passages that are troubling. Cotter’s psalms take today’s realities into account by including references to present-day issues of concern, while retaining the poetry and beauty of the originals.

Jim Cotter is a priest in the Church of England, living in Sheffield and focusing his ministry on writing books of prayers and reflection, seeking to unfold the Christian inheritance in fresh ways. He is also a popular retreat leader, and visits the United States regularly.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819225092
  • Publisher: Church Publishing Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • File size: 848 KB

Read an Excerpt

Psalms for a Pilgrim People


By JIM COTTER

Church Publishing Incorporated

Copyright © 1989 Jim Cotter
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8192-2509-2


CHAPTER 1

    THE TWO WAYS – A WISDOM SONG

    Refrain: Keep us true to your Way.


    Woe to us when we walk in the way of wickedness,
    when we bend our ear to the counsel of deceit,
    and scoff at what is holy from the seat of pride.

    Blessings upon us when we delight in the truth of God,
    and ponder God's Law by day and by night,

    when we stand up for truth in face of the lie,
    when we mouth no slogans and betray no friends.

    Then we shall grow like trees planted by streams of water,
    that yield their fruit in due season,
    whose leaves do not wither.

    We struggle with evil in our hearts,
    tossed to and fro like chaff in the wind,
    a rootless people whose lives have no meaning,
    unable to stand when judgment comes,
    desolate, outside the house of our God.

    May ways of wickedness perish among us:
    forgive us, O God, and renew us,
    lead us in paths of justice and truth,
    obedient to your Wisdom and Will,
    trusting in the hope of your promise.


Giver of life, save us from the desert of faithlessness and nourish us with the living water of your Word, that we may bring forth fruit that will last, in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour.


    GOD'S ANOINTED ONE

    Refrain: Come, refining fire of Love.


    Why do the nations rage at one another?
    Why do we plot and conspire?
    The powerful of the earth set themselves high,
    the people collude with their pride.
    We whisper against those God anoints,
    chosen to embody God's will.

    Do not be mocked and derided, O God:
    speak to us in your wrath, terrify us in your fury,
    break us with your rod of iron, bring us in fear and trembling
    to fall down before you and kiss your feet.

    But who is this, God's chosen one – God's Son?
    Inheritor of the earth and all its people?
    You take our rage upon yourself,
    mocked and crucified, yet meeting all with love.

    Ah, Fire that shrivels up our hates,
    and brings us to our knees in awe!
    Ah, Light that pierces all our fury,
    laying bare our greed and pride! Forgive us, for we know not what we do.

    Come, wondrous Ruler of the universe,
    holy and just, compassionate and merciful.
    Come, universal Reign of peace.
    Come, Anointed One, in glory!


Ruler of heaven and earth, raising Jesus from the dead and giving him the victory, work in us the power of your saving love and bring us to share in your through Jesus Christ our Saviour.


    THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN FEAR AND TRUST

    Refrain: Your steadfast love never fails.

    O God, how many are my foes.
    They rise up against me,
    surrounding me in the night,
    adversaries and friends alike,
    whispering that you cannot help me.

    But you are a shield about me,
    you are my glory, and you lift my head high.
    I cry to you as I sleep and as I wake,
    and the voice of your Presence sustains me.

    I am afraid of the powers that prowl within me,
    howling in the dark of the moonless night.
    I tremble at the thousands and thousands
    of weapons and armies swarming around me.
    Arise, O God, deliver me: smite them on the cheek,
    break their teeth, grind them to the dust.

    No, do not destroy them: call out to them,
    Rebellious powers, lay down your arms,
    return to the God who made you.
    Cease your oppression and fury,
    and seek the mercies of God.

    Liberator, setting us free,
    your blessing be upon your people.


Shield and protector of all, hear the prayers of those who call upon you, and set them free from violence, persecution, and fear, that all may know the deliverance that belongs to you alone. We ask this in the name of Jesus our Liberator.


    THE PEACE OF GOD

    Refrain: All manner of thing shall be well.


    Answer me when I call, O God
    for you are the God of Justice.
    You set me free when I was hard-pressed:
    be gracious to me now and hear my prayer.

    Men and women,
    how long will you turn my glory to my shame?
    How long will you love what is worthless
    and run after lies?

    Know that God has shown me such wonderful kindness.
    When I call out in prayer, God hears me.

    Tremble, admit defeat, and sin no more.
    Look deep into your heart before you sleep, and be still.

    Bring your gifts, just as you are,
    and put your trust in God.

    Many are asking, Who can make us content?
    The light of your countenance has gone from us, O God.

    Yet you have given my heart more gladness
    than those whose corn and wine and oil increase.
    I lie down in peace and sleep comes at once,
    for in you alone, O God, do I dwell unafraid.


Faithful defender, do not let our hearts be troubled, but fill us with such confidence and joy that we may sleep in peace and rise in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Saviour.


    A PRAYER FOR REPENTANCE

    Refrain: Gently turn my face to the sun.


    At the turning of the day
    I make ready for my prayer,
    emptying my mind, opening my heart,
    my whole self watching and waiting.

    Out of the silence comes my cry,
    the groaning of my spirit,
    profound, beyond words.
    O God my Deliverer, listen, and answer.

    You take no delight in wickedness:
    evil may not sojourn with you.
    The boastful may not stand before your eyes,
    the proud wither at your glance.
    You silence those who speak lies,
    you withstand the thrust of the vengeful.

    Only through the gift of your steadfast love
    do I dare to enter your presence.
    I will worship in your holy house
    in fear and in trembling.
    So easy is it to fall in false ways –
    lead me, O God, in your justice,
    make my path straight before me.

    For there is no truth in our mouths,
    our hearts are set on destruction,
    our throats are an open sepulchre,
    we flatter with our tongue.

    Our speeches are honeyed with peace,
    smooth words slide from our lips.
    The wavelengths dance with lies,
    siren songs deceptive in the dark.

    Refrain: Gently turn my face to the sun.

    Make us feel together the weight of our guilt,
    let us fall by the burden of our deceits,
    crumbling by reason of our trespass,
    lost because of our rebellion.

    Pluck us from the despair that follows the lie,
    no longer weighed down with the burden of falsehood.
    Strengthen our steps in obedience to truth,
    turn our lamentation to dancing and joy.
    Set us on fire with unquenchable love:
    we shall honour your name, exulting with praise.

    Blessed be God,
    showering blessings on the just and the unjust.
    Blessed be God,
    enduring with us the showers of black rain.
    Blessed be God,

    shuddering with pain when sirens wail.
    Blessed be God,
    our blasts but a feather in the wind of the Spirit.
    Blessed be God,
    our evil but a drop in the ocean of love.
    Blessed be God,
    redeeming our wastes and our sorrows.
    Blessed be God.


Source of all justice and goodness, hating deception and evil, lead us in the paths of truth and godliness, and keep us from all lasting harm. So shall we sing out our joy in you, O Christ the Living Truth, our Redeemer.


    A DESPERATE CRY IN TIME OF ILLNESS

    Refrain: I cry out to the Void:
    How long, O God, how long?


    Hideous afflictions of a turbulent age –
    virus, cancer, thrombosis, ulcer –
    warheads in the fluids of my being:
    I am caught in a world that is twisted,
    trapped in its web of corruption,
    tempted to blame my ills on to 'them',
    tempted to avoid the hatred within.

    Hard pressed by anxiety and discord,
    carriers of disease, injectors of poison,
    overwhelmed by malice and fear.
    Paralysed, depressed, we cannot move,
    spun in the vortex of death.

    Distressed in the very depths of our being,
    bones shaking, cells mutating,
    we are almost in despair.

    In your mercy and grace set us free.
    Refine us in the fire of your love.
    Our cry is of hope, yet struggling with doubt,
    a stammer gasping for breath in the night.

    Turn your face to me, save my life;
    deliver me in the endurance of love,
    ease the burden of guilt and of pain,
    let me know the grace of your presence,
    now in this life and through the shades of the grave.

    I am weary with my suffering,
    every night I flood my bed with tears.
    I drench my couch with weeping,
    my eyes waste away out of grief,
    I grow weak through the weight of oppression.


    Refrain: I cry out to the Void:
    How long, O God, how long?


    You that work evil and seek to destroy,
    loosen your grip, away from my presence.
    For God has heard the sound of my weeping,
    forgives me with delight and lightens my gloom.
    The destroyers will be ashamed and sore troubled:
    trembling, they will be stripped of their power,
    no longer able to harm.

    And no, I will not gloat or hate,
    in the Love of God I will hold on to you yet.
    In the anger and hope of the wrath of our God,
    come to the place of repentance and mercy.
    And you, silent virus, invisible, malignant,
    bound up with my bodily being,
    are you an enemy that I can befriend,
    or at least contain in a place of your own –
    your power to harm taken away,
    brought with us to the glory of God?


God of mercy and tenderness, giver of life and conqueror of death, look upon our weakness and pain, and bring us to health and to wholeness, that we may sing a new song to your praise; through Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the powers.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Psalms for a Pilgrim People by JIM COTTER. Copyright © 1989 Jim Cotter. Excerpted by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

FOREWORD          

INTRODUCTION          

Psalms 1–50          

1 The Two Ways-A Wisdom Song          

2 God's Anointed One          

3 The Struggle between Fear and Trust          

4 The Peace of God          

5 A Prayer for Repentance          

6 A Desperate Cry in Time of Illness          

7 A Society in Fragments          

8 Stewards of Creation          

9 a. A Prayer for Conciliators          

b. Despair and Hope in a Dark Time          

10 a. The Pleading of the Poor          

b. The Repentance of the Rich          

11 The Prayer of a Trembling Heart          

12 Words and the Word          

13 The Pain of the Heart          

14 The Folly of the Rich          

15 Friends of God          

16 Prayer for the Departed          

17 An Angry Cry for Justice          

18 Rescue          

19 The Love That Moves the Stars          

20 A Prayer for Those Who Govern          

21 Royal Priesthood          

22 Why? Why? Why?          

23 The Shepherd and the Host          

24 The Glory of God          

25 A Prayer of the Lonely          

26 Innocent or Guilty?          

27 Courageous Faith in Turbulent Times          

28 The Silence and the Voice          

29 Awe in the Presence of Power          

30 The Two Conversions          

31 A Prayer for Deliverance          

32 Release from the Burden of Sin          

33 The God of Creation and History          

34 God the Bearer of Pain          

35 The Quiet in the Land          

36 The Judge Who Does Right          

37 Dogged Trust in God          

38 A Cry from the Midst of Pain and Guilt          

39 Anger Human and Divine          

40 Faith Rejoicing and Faith Struggling          

41 Who Condemns?          

42–43 Yearning for God          

44 Cast Off by God?          

45 A Royal Celebration          

46 The God of Powers          

47 The Worship of the People of God          

48 The City of God          

49 The Hollowness of Wealth          

50 The Judgment of God          

Psalms 51–100          

51 The Utter Mercy of God          

52 The Lie and the Truth 111          

53 Flesh of Our Flesh          

54 A Cry of Complaint          

55 Days of Betrayal in the City          

56 Empty and Afraid, Yet Trusting          

57 Identity in the City          

58 What Kind of Vengeance?          

59 For the Imprisoned and Tortured          

60 The Way of the Unholy          

61 Hope in God Alone          

62 Holding Steadily to God          

63 The City-Dweller's Desert          

64 Bewildered by Cruelty          

65 In Praise of God, Abundant and Generous          

66 Symphony of Praise          

67 God's Abundant Blessing          

68 What Kind of Power?          

69 Any Hope for the Earth?          

70 Faith Stripped Bare          

71 A Prayer of Old Age          

72 A Prayer for Just and Wise Rulers          

73 Perplexity Unresolved but Transformed          

74 The Sea of Faith?          

75 Sure Judgment          

76 The Lion's Wrath          

77 Past Mercies, Present Despair, Future Hope          

78 Riddles of History          

79 The Body of God          

80 The Face of God          

81 The God Who Yearns to Save          

82 The Idle Promises of Idols          

83 The Enemies of God          

84 On Pilgrimage          

85 Rooted in One Land?          

86 God Is God          

87 Cities of Pilgrimage          

88 In Bleak Despair          

89 The Promise          

90 Time and Eternity          

91 Unshakable Trust in God          

92 The Steadiness of God          

93 A Calm Authority          

94 That Justice Be Done          

95 Encountering the Redeeming Creator          

96 Joy in God          

97 The Old Order Turned Upside Down          

98 The Song of a Renewed Creation          

99 Holy Is God          

100 A Joyful People          

Psalms 101–150          

101 The Single Eye          

102 Resurrection Promise          

103 Unfathomable Love          

104 Exuberant Wonder          

105 The Covenants of God          

106 As Our Ancestors Did          

107 The Cry for Rescue          

108 The Making of Music          

109 An Angry and Fearsome Cry          

110 Power with Service          

111 The Heartbeat of God          

112 Our Hatred of Goodness          

113 The Energy of Compassion          

114 The God of Exodus          

115 Idols and the Living God          

116 Death Loses Its Stranglehold          

117 A Quiet Moment of Praise          

118 The Mercies of God Endure          

119 The Living Way          

120 Help and Harm          

121 Refreshment and Rigour          

122 Peace and Perplexity          

123 Delight and Devastation          

124 Deliverance and Destruction          

125 Trustworthiness and Treachery          

126 Exile and Exultation          

127 Care and Consumption          

128 Embrace and Exclusion          

129 Golgotha and Genocide          

130 Watching and Waiting          

131 Calm and Contentment          

132 Beauty and Bliss          

133 Loving and Loved I shall love          

134 Blessing and Beginning          

135 Small and Great, Exile and Settler, Poor and Wealthy          

136 Love Without End          

137 By the Waters of Babylon          

138 God's Gentle Touch          

139 Light of Light          

140 Against Evildoers          

141 Impossible Dream?          

142 Trust though Rejected          

143 Afraid of Death          

144 The Creator Lover          

145 Regular Blessings          

146 Society Restored: Justice and Jerusalem          

147 Promises Fulfilled: City and Countryside          

148 Creation Renewed: Touched and Transfigured          

149 Reconciliation Embraced: Held and Healed          

150 Harmony Celebrated: Sounds and Silence          


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