Category Archives: Congregational Songs

By Blessed Wounds (T.L. Moody)

Tammy Moody wrote a lovely text about trusting God to be a good father rather than a vengeful or cruel one. She and I have discussed the fact that using the image of God as Father is quite out of … Continue reading

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Ask the Complicated Questions (David Bjorlin)

It seems that Dave and I grew up in similar church contexts, where easy answers were dished out with as much relish as jello salad at a Sunday potluck. Unfortunately, those easy answers overlooked the subtleties of real life, used … Continue reading

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Build a Longer Table (David Bjorlin)

I met Dave Bjorlin at a Hymn Society conference in 2018 in a late-night chat among HS night owls. “Good guy,” I thought. What I didn’t know is that he’s an excellent hymn text author. GIA recently published a collection … Continue reading

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Psalm 134: Bless the Lord!

The biblical Songs of Ascents, and my Pilgrim Psalms song series, conclude with Psalm 134. It is a fitting conclusion, with the people blessing God and God blessing the people. I could have written a simple scripture song that rhymed, … Continue reading

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Psalm 133: How Good and Beautiful

Psalm 133 is the quintessential ode to the unity of God’s people. It is short, beginning with a thesis statement (“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”) and fleshed out with two supporting images. … Continue reading

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Psalm 132: Dwell in Us

Psalm 132 is a Messianic history Psalm. It tells the story of David vowing not to rest until he had built a house in Jerusalem for the ark of the covenant. God, in turn, honors David’s devotion by promising that … Continue reading

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Psalm 131: Wait for the Lord

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” Surely there is a foreshadowing of Jesus’ words in Psalm 131, which is all about child-like trust. Not only does Psalm 131 portray our faith as childlike trust, but it portrays … Continue reading

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Psalm 130: From Down in the Depths

Psalm 130 ranks as one of the best-known Psalms of confession, second only to Psalm 51. Naturally, there are many great songs based on Psalm 130, including Luther’s “Aus Tiefer Not” and Karl Digerness’ “Out of the Depths.” My new … Continue reading

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Psalm 129: We Won’t Stay Down

Psalm 129 gives us a scrappy underdog who just happens to have a protective older brother on the wrestling team. (In this case, the scrappy underdog is Israel and the older brother is God.) I don’t know about you, but … Continue reading

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Psalm 128: Bless Us, O Lord

The Psalms are full of images and ideas that are anachronistic to modern readers. Psalm 128 promises men who fear the Lord that they’ll enjoy fertile wives, lots of children, and a peaceful Jerusalem. It is fair to ask: What … Continue reading

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