Keeping and Jettisoning
Psalm 146 Lauda, anima mea
1 Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, O my soul! *
I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
2 Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *
for there is no help in them.
3 When they breathe their last, they return to earth, *
and in that day their thoughts perish.
4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
whose hope is in the Lord their God;
5 Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them;*
who keeps his promise for ever;
6 Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
and food to those who hunger.
7 The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind; *
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
8 The Lord loves the righteous; the Lord cares for the stranger;*
he sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked.
9 The Lord shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. Hallelujah!
I have jettisoned verses 2 and 3 because they move the Psalm's focus from positive praises for God to negative notes about ruler and their demise (a fate we also share with them, pending our resurrection!).
I have also jettisoned the last phrase in verse 8, because sometimes the wicked's way is not frustrated.
Next: what would you keep and what would you jettison?
Psalm 147 Laudate Dominum
1 Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!
2 The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; *
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted *
and binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; *
there is no limit to his wisdom.
6 The Lord lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.
8 He covers the heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;
9 He makes grass to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve mankind.
10 He provides food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.
11 He is not impressed by the might of a horse; *
he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
12 But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him, *
in those who await his gracious favor.
13 Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;
14 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; *
he has blessed your children within you.
15 He has established peace on your borders; *
he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
16 He sends out his command to the earth, *
and his word runs very swiftly.
17 He gives snow like wool; *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
18 He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against his cold?
19 He sends forth his word and melts them; *
he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.
20 He declares his word to Jacob, *
his statutes and his judgments to Israel.
21 He has not done so to any other nation; *
to them he has not revealed his judgments. Hallelujah!
Photograph from the Chicago Botanic Garden
as a Lenten harbinger of the Easter Garden