talking to children about the psalms

In June Sunday Morning Program we are meeting the Psalms  – prayers that are sung to God to tell how things are with us. The Psalms are the biggest book in the Bible and they are easiest to locate right in the middle. Jesus would have known the Psalms which had already been around for 1000years when he was born. In all likelihood he and his companions would have chanted and sung them as they walked from place to place.

Following Walter Bruggemann’s suggestion that the Psalms come to us in three main themes – Orientation, Dis-orientation and Re-orientation I made a Children’s address with three posters

1)   Yay – the psalm of praise when things are going well

2)   Oh No – the lament when all seems lost and lonely

3)   OMG- Phew – when things were going pear-shaped but somehow have turned around

I think these three things are pretty key to both an understanding of prayer and how we can bring all of our lives to God – and also to building a kind of emotional resilience. This picture of the psalms gives as a vocabulary for when things are hard as well as for when things go well.

Visiting the psalms of lament remind me of the wisdom in grief education that reminds us to build into our telling of the world to our children a telling of the end of life, the truth that death is a part of life. So is lament, so is praise, so is transformation and re-orientation.