The Taser's Edge

Reading the Psalms by Choosing to Overwhelm Ourselves

If you read the Psalms according to the Book of Common Prayer’s Daily Office, you will have nice-sized pieces.  The trade-off is how many Psalms you read (or don’t read, really).  At some point, I really think quantity can be helpful in reading Scripture, because sometimes (certainly not always) overwhelming our conscious capacities to understand Scripture can do wonderful formational things in us.  I mean, if it worked for all kinds of religious orders for hundreds of years to memorize the entire Psalter or to at least read it all aloud once a week, then why can’t we handle something anywhere near that?

Thankfully, if you read your Psalms from the Book of Common Prayer (any edition), it’s broken down into a month’s worth of Morning and Evening sections.  There’s not a particular artfulness to it, as far as I know, like there sometimes is with the Daily Office bringing interesting Scriptures together.  But there is something wonderful about reading the entire book of Psalms once a month.  If you don’t do or have a BCP, then just mark up your Bible a bit, making numbered sections.

What’s more, if you miss a day or three, just start with today’s Psalms and trust that you will hit the ones you missed next month.  That little bit of grace offered to yourself tomorrow morning might make your day.

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