This sequence of beautiful translations and inspiring commentary provides daily nourishment for your Lenten journey from Ash Wednesday through to Easter.
The first week of Lent explores thoughts under the rubric `It's a hard world', inspired mainly by laments. Second, `It's an unjust world', thinks about confession, imaging God as divine judge, with God's righteousness setting right humankind. `It's a big world' challenges the commonplace `it's a small world!', looking to the greatness of God worshipped in psalms as Lord of all. `It's a beautiful world' ends this sequence: with Refreshment Sunday starting the week the tone gets lighter. Sorrow and joy are mixed together in daily life - as in the Psalms, and any spiritual journey.
Passiontide begins: this week considers pilgrimage. We journey deeper towards the eternal God, recalling Jesus' own journey to Jerusalem. Holy Week uses the Jewish Passover sequence of Hallel Psalms, uniting the reader to liturgical traditions. Jesus lies in the tomb, the psalms stop: pause is the reflection.
The final psalms of the Psalter appropriately close this collection, realistically mingling dark notes within the streams of joy. True worship and prayer connects throughout with Christ's own prayer traditions, rippling throughout Lenten, and lived, experience.
Megan Daffern is Chaplain of Jesus College, Oxford. She also teaches and lectures in Old Testament to undergraduates studying Theology and Religious Studies at Oxford University. She assists in parish ministry as a priest in the Diocese of Oxford.