Point 1. At a recent preaching seminar the organiser admitted that he had only ever chosen to preach from the Psalms once. He asked everyone present how much they choose to preach from the Psalms when they have the choice on what to preach. The general consensus was almost never.
Point 2. Speak to any Christian who has been walking with the Lord for more than a few years. Ask them what book of the Bible has been dear to them during the most challenging times in their experience. Times of hurt, of doubt, of grief, of loss, of fear, of insecurity, of loneliness, of pain, of betrayal . . . the times when life was as life often is. The answer, time and again, will be the book of Psalms.
The Disconnect. People come to church in the midst of life in all its colour and complexity. People are hurting, doubting, experiencing, struggling, suffering. A significant proportion of people in our churches every Sunday are dealing with a significant level of life’s complexity. Yet as preachers many of us seldom if ever choose to preach from the book that countless Christians have grown to love precisely because it does engage with the harsh realities of life in a way that we can identify with. This is a disconnect. (Not to mention the fact that when some do preach the Psalms, they have a habit of dissecting into theology-sized chunks that feel like an epistle in presentation – that’s something I’ve written about in other posts!)
The Nudge. Why not preach from the Psalms sometime?