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Psalms for all Seasons

I think that's really what Brueggemann's scheme is about.  He is honest about its limitations, that a different person might assign them, even within his headings, to different places, but it is a useful model to work with. 

Anyway here's what I think it boils down to:

  • psalms for when life is chugging along, confident songs that express the reliability and dependability of God, of creation and the life-giving aspects of Torah.  Psalms that teach truths and express trust.
  • psalms for when life is *expletive deleted*, songs that express rage, fear, despair, confusion, bewilderment.  Psalms that lament the disorder that exists despite what we believe about God
  • psalms of reflection on the complexity of life.  Psalms that hold together the realities of the struggles with the faith in which the writer lives.  Psalms written some time 'after the event' when the raw emotion of pain, loss, anger, etc. has passed, when events have run their course and a 'new normal' has been achieved and a different understanding of chugging along has been established

Whether or not you agree with Brueggemann or my interpretation of his model, it seems there is a basic principle that runs through it all; whatever the 'weather' or 'season', sing about it to God.  Athenticity - my buzz word of the moment!

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