“Their voice goes through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:4)
“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 53:1)
“Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!” (Psalm 117:1)
Can you guess what the Psalm verses above have in common? Perhaps there is more than one answer. The commonality I’m thinking of is that all three are quoted in the New Testament book, Romans. To see, take a look at Romans 10:18, 3:10, and 15:11 respectively.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote the Epistle (or Letter) to the Romans, drew on the Old Testament book of Psalms repeatedly. He quotes 16 different Psalms in Romans alone! It’s not surprising when you remember that Paul, a devout Jew, would have sang, read, studied, and memorized the Psalms since he was a wee little boy. The Psalms were for Paul, like Jesus, his book of prayer. He lived and breathed these mighty and powerful expressions of faith!
This summer at Christ Lutheran, our Sermon Series follows the book of Romans. We do so to celebrate the rallying cry of the Reformation, “Faith Alone!” The gift of abundant and eternal life in Christ comes to us entirely by trusting in God. Romans is Paul’s clear explanation of what it means for us to have access to salvation through Christ. His letter, again and again, draws inspiration from the Psalms.
So, in addition to reading Romans this summer, I want to invite you to join me in a practice called Psalms in the Summer. I’ve done this for several years now. The practice is simple. Read one Psalm per day. Most Psalms can be read in five minutes or less. I encourage you to read it slowly. See if a word or phrase captures your heart, your imagination, your attention. Then, share with God why this phrase or word spoke to you. That’s it. If you forget which Psalm you’re “on”, it’s OK. Pick up where you think you left off and continue.
In doing so, you’ll be reading and praying the same words as Paul. As Jesus. And the Holy Spirit has a good track record of using these words to connect people to God.
Praise the LORD!
To see a list of Psalm quotations in the New Testament, click here