July 2022 Letter from our Vicar
The Psalms in the Bible have played a big part in the life of many Christians. I remember how a couple once told me Psalm 91 had got them through World War 2; reading it together each evening had gone a long way to sustaining them through those dark days.
When we asked the congregations of St Luke’s which of the Psalms they would like to hear preached over the Summer, we were given a lot to chew on.
Top of the list came Psalm 121 ‘I lift up my eyes to the hills… from where does my help come?’. Equal second were Psalm 139 ‘O Lord you have searched me and known me’, and Psalm 150 ‘Let everything that has breath Praise the Lord’. And also in the long list of requests were Psalms 23, 27, 36, 46, 51, 66, 67, 86, 91, 96, 104, 105, 137, 143 and 145.
Bob Monks told the story of why Psalm 23 had been his request:
“In 1940 I was a 7-year-old at Infants School in Prestwich, Manchester. All of the teachers were ladies as the men had been taken to fight against Hitler’s German army. At 3pm each day, all of the children were given a grey blanket and asked to lie down and rest for an hour, because most families were being disturbed every night by the German planes’ bombing raids. While lying down together, a teacher read Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd….’ She insisted that we learn and remember it, so we repeated it in the lesson period every day, until we could repeat it word for word. Hence when asked in Church on Sunday to name my favourite, it had to be Psalm 23. It has stood me in good stead for over 80 years.”
What’s your favourite psalm?
Why not read through the Psalms through the months of July and August, while we are teaching them? Find your favourite. Be reminded what a special thing is the hymnbook of the Old Testament people of God. And follow your fellow Church of England worshippers of many generations in being a daily reader of one of the psalms.
If you lack words to pray to God, you will find prayers for all moods and circumstances.
With my prayerful best wishes
Canon Rob McLaren