Summary: The Bible - the Library for Christians, Psalms the Psalm book of the Tempel.

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What about the Psalms – His Love Endures forever!

Psalm 136

Do any of you remember your early trips to the Library? I remember at first there was no real pressure. The teacher took us in and showed us where the simple picture books were. You could get one and look at it. And then just leave it right on the table. You did not have to put it back yourself.

Then it is pretty exciting when I got to check out a book and even take it home. The only pressure was the now I had to get it back by a certain day.

For me the library was a pretty cool place until the day when I was expected not to just look around for fun but I was to do research. Over time papers due on a subject got harder and harder.

At some point, I started needing the help of a librarian to direct me to the right materials.

In a way, today I am serving as a librarian and offering you an orientation to the library that I hope all of you have free and easy access too.

Today is a preparation of what we will look into this month.

We are building a foundation of sorts related to the Christian Library. I am talking about the Bible. 66 books divided into the old and new testaments. Books of history, Law, adventure and poetry.

Our focus in general is on poetry which is found through out scripture but, we will be looking mostly at the Psalms.

Let’s start with a few points of basic overview of the Psalms.

Within the Book of Psalms there are 150 chapters which come from a variety of authors and are related to different events and situations.

A large number are attributed to David and Solomon and some are associated with Moses or others. But the only way we can connect the chapters to an author is to use the editor’s notes which are thought not to be a part to the original chapters. They were added by someone other than the author perhaps centuries after the text was written as the chapters were collected for worship.

The Book of psalms is a collection of poems or songs separated into 5 sections which were put together for use in the Temple.

Ok, poetry. Quick show of hands, how many enjoy poetry?

How many can write poetry?

Personally, I have trouble with understanding most poetry. I had to read a lot a couple of years ago in a literature class. The teacher would ask the class what some poem meant.

If asked, I normally could only explain what it said. “Well the story is about a young man that is secretly in love and he describes how much it hurts.”

It seems that the professor had a different version of most of the poems; because, she told us about all kinds of other stuff that I did not see in my copy.

It wasn’t even in the foot notes.

She suggested that some how this lack of understanding in what the author was trying to communicate was my fault.

In my opinion, the author decided to be less than direct and clear.

I recall a poem about “The Fall of Icarus.” I was assured that it was a classic poem based on a ancient myth and was a classic.

Icraus was a young man that wanted to fly so that he could reach the gods. It seems that he built a set of wings with feathers he collected and attached together on a simple frame with wax.

-- I have read in history books where that has been tried again and again and failed every time.

It says, in the poem that Icarus flew high enough to the sun that the wax melted and the wings fell apart and he fell to his death. It was sort of a downer.

It was hard to read as a poem, the language of the 1500’s and I thought it was good just to figure out the story.

I was amazed when the Teacher went into a long discussion about the human condition, how we all wish to fly in one way or another and more often than not come crashing to the ground.

She said that this poem was about hubris….I did not know the meaning of the word. It wasn’t in the poem. Basically, pride, and what happens to people that are too prideful.

Folks, some of what was explained made since…. when it was explained. But, there was not real explanation of that in the story.

To me it was a pretty good story and it helped me to feel good that I had not tried to fly with wings I made since I was very young. It made me feel good about myself for not making the same mistake.

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