The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Reaching deep, day by day

Keep the year new with meditations on the psalms

The new year is, of course, a time for beginnings. Sometimes the newest beginnings are also the oldest. That is demonstrated in Psalms through the Year: Spiritual Exercises for Every Day (Augsburg Books, 2006). In this substantial paperback, Marshall D. Johnson offers pithy and accessible interpretations for all 150 psalms. A former editorial director of Fortress Press, he points to interpretations for our times as well as delivering insights into the ancient times of the psalmists.

The book provides a one-page meditation for each day of the year. Reading the psalm in your Bible, along with the reflections, can provide a meaningful way to organize your day. He identifies types of psalms, including hymns, laments (both individual and corporate), thanksgivings and royal psalms used in ceremonies. He captures the essential theme of each one in his titles for every page, such as: “From Mourning to Dancing,” “Afflictions of the Righteous,” “Worthy Government,” “Revelation in Nature” and “A Plea for Mercy.”

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