Psalmody, part 3 – Tourist or Pilgrim?

September 14, 2012 — 1 Comment

How have you seen God shock you as you read the Bible, and particularly, the Psalms? I’ve often noted that we are tempted in worship to cut off the “embarassing” parts of Psalms.  Like in Psalm 63:9-11.

But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
 they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
 But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

I’ve had to pray those verses in recent years and God has sustained me through ALL parts of Psalm 63!

Here are some challenging thoughts from Kevin Adams, in his book 150 – Finding Your Story in the Psalms:

One of the main differences between tourists and pilgrims is that pilgrims engage in their journey out of a passion for discovery rather than the hope of an interesting diversion or a nice vacation. Pilgrims travel hard, fully engaged in the moment, expecting that the process will profoundly change them.

Ambrose, a fourth-century preacher, once called the Psalms a “gymnasium of the soul”—a vast spiritual fitness center.

In the Psalms God is wilder, more unpredictable, more passionate than we imagine. “God behaves in the Psalms in ways he is not allowed to behave in systematic theology,” said Benedictine Sebastian Moore.

Question: Are you a ‘tourist’ or a ‘pilgrim’ in your journey as a Christ-follower?  How does this affect how you read the Scriptures or worship, or pray or respond to needs around you?

NOTE: My summer, 2012 teachings, Psalmody: Experiencing Christ in the Psalms are currently available for downloading here from the Pilgrim Pines Conference Ctr. site.
I’d be glad to send the 6 page pdf of all of the Psalm quotes and resources to anyone who requests it. You can  email your request directly.

One response to Psalmody, part 3 – Tourist or Pilgrim?


    I loved hearing the differences between a pilgrim and a tourist. I hope in all my travels, I will be a pilgrim!

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