Here’s a little idea that I pull out every now and then: I like to re-write Psalm 136….you know the one with the phrase that repeats all the way through: “His love endures forever” (or something similar depending on your translation).
- Read it through one time as it is in its original version.
- Go back and notice that at verse 9 in begins to recount the story of the Exodus.
- Now start at the beginning. Read it aloud slowly and thoughtfully. But this time substitute phrases of your own story at verse 9 (your own exodus maybe) taking your cue from the style of the Psalm….”to Him who_____” ….each time repeating and even “tasting” the beautifully simple refrain “His love endures forever”. (I think saying it aloud is hugely important! The continual repetition is a symbol of the forever-ness)
- After you do that for as long as you like, kick back in to the ending of the Psalm at verse 23 to finish it off.
I think you’ll agree that it makes for a great opening course….like a hearty salad….a mix of praise and thanksgiving.
Variation 1: try this the next time you are at the beach. Sit in the sand where you can feel the waves wash around you repeatedly. You don’t need a Bible. Recite phrases from your own story…..try to time the repetition of the phrase “His love endures forever” with the repetition of the waves. Also realize that you are in the presence of classic symbols of “forever-ness”: the sea, the sand, the sky. Soak it in. Let it cleanse you. Let it heal you. Feel the big picture. Play your role in the story.