St. Chrysostom says about singing the Psalms that the men, the women and the little children are to accustom themselves to singing them, in order that this may be a sort of meditation to associate themselves with the company of the angels.
The Psalms have for centuries been a source of comfort and joy for the people of God. But I think what many of us forget is that the Psalms are highly political. They are filled with warfare language. They bring horror to the opponents of Yahweh. Even in the end, it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths.
Many years ago, a group of theologians were sitting around a dinner table theologizing as theologians do. One of them asked: “If you had only one book of the Bible to take to a desert island, which book would it be?
One theologian shouted: “I will take Romans!” Another said: “I will take Hebrews!” Finally, one theologian stood, looked at his brothers and said: “Gentleman, you can’t sing Romans and you surely can’t sing Hebrews, but you can sing the Psalms for the rest of your lives!”
This morning, we ascend into the mountain of the Lord. We will sing a Psalm, responsively read a Psalm and hear the preached word from a Psalm. Blessed are the people of God who love the Psalter.