Friday, January 6, 2017

Book Review: A New Song: Responding Poetically To The Psalms by D.P. Myers

It's really tough to find quality, Reformed devotional material. I'm always on the look out for it. A New Song: Responding Poetically To The Psalms by D.P. Myers is just such a book. Consisting of over 170 poems, most corresponding to the Psalms, Myers allows the reader to enter in to his lengthy study of the Psalms and his poetic response.

The Psalms can be our response to God in all of life's situations, particularly to affliction and for praise. I return to the Psalms often in times of darkness and light. Myers encourages us to do that and to see past the words to their true meaning.

From the book jacket we read

A New Song is both a devotional and a guidebook. As a devotional, the reader is offered a glimpse into Myers' multi-year journey through the Psalms resulting in writing over 170 poems. Each poem, when read alongside the accompanying Psalm, can help the prayerful reader to consider the ways in which God may be speaking through each Psalm As a guidebook, A New Song briefly discusses our innate creative nature and then offers suggestions which, when illustrated by Myers' examples, will encourage you to find your own creative voice with which to sing a new song unto the Lord.

Of course, I turned to some of my favorite Psalms that have offered me the most comfort and instruction over the years.

From the response to Psalm 35

Repentant is my weeping heart,
     Always longing for your touch,
Your breath of life, a fresh new start,
     I need these Lord, so much.

And again from Psalm 54

Still I sit in darkest night
    In my isolation's pain,
Waiting when for me you'll fight
   So I'll see the dawn again.

From Psalm 90

To lift me from the dark pit
   Of muck and death and sin,
Leading me so far from it,
   This hellish life I'm in.

To search out your grand measure
   Through all my years and days
And find no greater pleasure
   Than seeking all your ways.

Then be taken home one day,
   The castle of the King, 
Where your glories will be shown
   And sinner cleansed will sing.

Myers demonstrates that poetry has a way of taking us from an instructional mode to a contemplative mode. When we meditate on a Psalm and corresponding poem we can regain the perspective we often lose that the Lord wants us to have. In the Psalms the full range of emotions are found and can be expressed to the Lord on prayer. And there we can gather our thoughts and revel in God's glory and majesty.

This book has quickly become a favorite devotional tool for me. Let us remain diligent in our time with the Lord by reading, meditating, and praying. A New Song is a wonderful companion to the Psalms to do so.

The Reformed Book Cellar received a complimentary copy of this book.

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