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Posts Tagged ‘psalms’

Monasticism in Lockdown America: Part 9, Psalms, In the End

By Chris HokeJuly 11, 2018

Thinking of the psalms as a way to cycle through the entire range of human experience, I recently brought them with me into juvenile detention. The kids there, on Sunday afternoons, shuffle through automated doors wearing orange jumpsuits and pink booties and take their seats shyly around bolted-down steel tables with me. These are boys…

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Monasticism in Lockdown America: Part 8: Psalms In the Beginning

By Chris HokeJuly 5, 2018

I always privately hated the psalms. Most of them, anyway. As a teenager, I’d leaf through the Bible’s songbook quite often and feel it was full of self-pity and self-righteousness, often launching into bombastic praise of God and two lines later wishing curses on enemies. I didn’t understand why Christians still used the psalms, and…

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Questions for the One Who Waits

By Richard ChessSeptember 25, 2017

I wait only for you. –Psalm 27, translated by Norman Fischer Psalm 27 is read by Jews from the beginning of the Jewish month of Elul through the Jewish High Holidays: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year; and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is a psalm about how fearlessness and fearfulness come and…

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Poetry Friday: “Psalm as Frustration I Can Live With”

By Nicholas SamarasAugust 11, 2017

Like the biblical psalms, Nicholas Samaras’s “Psalm as Frustration I Can Live With” speaks for the human condition. And, like many of the biblical psalms, Samaras’s psalm finds the human condition one of being thrust between opposite experiences. “I feel [God’s]presence only to lose it, / lose his presence only to feel it return.” And…

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A Conversation with Lauren Winner, Part 1

By Mary Kenagy MitchellJune 20, 2017

This post originally appeared as a web-exclusive feature accompanying Image issue 84. Each chapter of Lauren F. Winner’s book, Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God (HarperOne), explores a single biblical image of God through a mix of exegesis, cultural history, and personal essay. The chapter excerpted in issue 84 is about bread. I…

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Poetry Friday: “Full Thunder Moon”

By Julie L. MooreNovember 18, 2016

The days following the election have been dark indeed. People unhappy with the outcome fear for many Americans’ safety and freedoms. Supporters of the president-elect feel alienated and misunderstood. The nation’s unsettled tenor reminds me of that post-9/11 haze in which we stumbled through our days unsure of what would happen next. Except this time…

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Getting Close to You, God: A Meditation During the Month of Elul

By Richard ChessSeptember 27, 2016

“You are my light and my help / Whom should I fear?” Thus begins Norman Fischer’s Zen-inspired translation of Psalm 27. Right now, at this very moment, Shabbat morning, the 14th of Elul, 5776; Sept. 17, 2016, these verses don’t resonate with me. Fear: yes, I am afraid, afraid, at the moment, that I won’t…

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Poetry Friday: “I Am Poured Out Like Water”

By Win BassettJuly 15, 2016

What attracts me to this poem is something deliberately absent yet evocatively present: baptism in a river. Starting from the very first line—during monastic prayer, the speaker’s mis-chanting “Lord’s forever” as “Lord’s river”—rivers are central to each vignette. There’s the creek where, as a kid, the speaker “took a girl down to the river to…

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Poetry Friday: “Meditation on the Evangelista”

By Karen An-Hwei LeeMarch 11, 2016

What if God turned up at your door in the form of a brush salesman? That’s the premise that Karen An-Hwei Lee’s prose-poem plays with. Mystery and comedy merge in this delightful meditation. First, an unnamed “He” does not do certain everyday things, like shampooing your carpet. Then “God” slips into the poem as the…

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