Todays Psalm is a favourite of mine, not just for good theological reasons – which I may share shortly but because one of my favourite albums growing up was Under a Blood Red Sky by the Irish Rock Band U2. Their music is still a firm favourite but one song in particular is the song ’40’ it is their own re-working of Psalm 40 which we had in morning prayer. It is one of the Psalms I know the best because I played it over and over, I wore the first cassette tape out completely and had to replace it (yes I am that old).
It is not just the wonderful ability of U2 or Bono’s unique voice though, it is a song of hope, a song of praise and a song of thanksgiving – and then in the style of so many Psalms moves towards lament. Psalm 40 begins with these inspiring words:
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
It ends more reflectively:
But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay.
The Psalm is special to me because it sums up the way I pray in difficult times, like many I look back to the times when God has been good in my life, times of hope and joy and beauty – those are the times that give us hope for the future.
Right now life has been tough and it will get tougher over the next weeks, hold in your heart those times of hope joy and beauty – this time will pass and we too will sing a new song together!
I have not left the lyrics of a traditional hymn or contemporary worship song, but predictably a link to U2 singing 40 live.