Confirmation 4.14.21: Mentor Night & Psalms
- Share highs & lows since the last time you met.
- What kind of music do you like? Do you have a favorite band or artist?
- Do you share anything in common when it comes to music tastes?
- In what ways does music influence your emotions? Are there certain songs in your memory that bring you back to a specific moment?
- Why do you think music is so important to humans?
The Psalms are a type of Hebrew poetry. In Hebrew, the word for psalm means “praises”, and in Greek the word means “words to accompany music”. Psalms, then, are meant to be used musically. The moods of the psalms embrace/reflect the whole range of human experience—from praise to despair, from intense anger and doubt about God’s care to hope for a future based solely on God’s care. Psalms can help express emotions that we otherwise might not have words for or feel right about. The Psalms show us the reality of our up and down relationship with God, but they also move us steadily along the path of knowing God. There are a variety of psalms (you can explore in your Bibles on pages 849-850):
Hymns of Praise: give witness (i.e. show) God’s love and grace through a call to praise and reasons for praise. They were composed for community worship.
Community Laments: Characterized by crying to God for help in a time of crisis or distress.
Personal/Individual Laments: The most common type of psalm, a crying out to God for help in a time of crisis or distress. Can be distinguished from communal laments with the use of “I”. Often include a call to be heard, complaints about God’s perceived absence, a persons suffering, and oppressors, pleas for help, a sentiment of trust in God, and a promise to praise God on the other side of suffering.
Songs of Thanksgiving: These psalms thank God for helping an individual or community through a tough time like war, famine, plague, or other problems and distress.
Wisdom Psalms: Reflects Old Testament wisdom literature (Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes)
Royal Psalms: Composed during specific times in a king’s life, like coronations, weddings, or even battles. Other’s celebrate the king as God’s servant, or meant for the king to sing/recite as a leader of many people.
Find and Read the following Psalms (you can read the whole psalm, or just a portion) and answer the questions as best you can about each:
- Psalm 1
- Psalm 21
- Psalm 22
- Psalm 23
- Psalm 27
- Psalm 30
- Psalm 46
- Psalm 100
- Psalm 121
- What type of psalm is this (see categories above)?
- Who is the author talking to?
- What is the basic message of this psalm?
- Are the words in this psalm familiar to you?
Try creating your own “mini Psalm” using the classic “Roses are Red” format.
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
sugar is sweet,
and so are you.
God is _______________,
Jesus is _______________,
______________ is ______________,
And so are/is ________________.