Finding Buried Treasure

I was working in our garage the other day.  As I was sizing up the larger-than-preferred task of doing some reorganization, I made a discovery that felt like I had unearthed buried treasure.  I found a tool that I had “lost” by putting it in a cabinet drawer in my last organization. It fit and made sense at the time to place it there but it sure didn’t serve me well while in it’s dust-free dwelling.

This Epiphany, we’re remembering the posture of the wise men who responded to the manifestation of Christ to the nations by bowing down and worshiping (Matt 2:11).  Worship has a central role in our Christian lives. However, in all of its varied aspects, worship is not so much about what we do or offer to God. It’s primarily concerned with what God has done for His people.  “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

One of the greatest tools to help us rightly focus on what God has done and help us to respond in worship is the book of Psalms.  This collection of “songs of praise” serve as both heartfelt expressions of prayer, adoration, confession, and thanksgiving as well as templates for our own spiritual life.  Liturgically arranged collections of the Psalms (called Psalters) have been in use from the early church. Church historian Philip Schaff writes: “So far as we are able to gather from our sources, nothing, except the Psalms and a few New Testament hymns was as a rule sung in public worship before the 4th century AD.”  In modern times, C.S. Lewis had this reflection: “The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.”

Through the ages, the Psalms have been a sort of steel girder for the development of worship, both public and private.  

My prayer for us during Epiphany is that we would rediscover worship through the Psalms.  This spiritual formation tool is available to us today and it is a treasure. You might want to simply start reading a psalm a day, using it as a springboard into your own prayer and praise.  If you’d like to add the Psalms to your devotions, a copy of the new ACNA Psalter can be downloaded here. It does a wonderful job guiding us through all 150 Psalms over a 30 day period. I commend it to you.

Sometimes, it’s good to look again into corners and cabinets and rediscover buried treasure.