Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 68:5’

Birthday reflections: A New Song for My Father

June 17, 2015

Psalm 68--5Most often the Verse of the Day for Biblegateway.com becomes the inspiration for the blog entry at Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe. Today, however, June 17, 2015, marks my 73rd birthday, and this post offers reflective comments that include an original poem of celebration, a tradition that I established with my 21st birthday, long before I began to recognize the poetic gift that had begun to germinate. Most amazingly, the subject for the Verses of the Day for this week have centered on God as our Father, in light of Father’s Day, which is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. On rare occasions, Father’s Day falls on June 17, my birthday, making for a “doubly lovely, Good News Day.”

Even more providentially, the Verse of the Day for June 17, 2015 comes from Psalm 68:5, which I incorporated into the blog entry for yesterday which also related to the concept of God as a father. The same theme finds its way into my poetic birthday offering:

A New Song for My Father

In celebration of my 73rd birthday

June 17, 2015

 

Sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
his holy arm has shown his saving power!

Psalm 98:1 (NLT)

In reflecting upon these past three score years plus ten and three,

To show my deepest gratitude I will go to any length.

I will praise the Lord who has enriched my life in blessing me

With much more than a reasonable portion of health and strength.

Whenever I think of the goodness of my Father, I sing;

A song of praise rises from the deepest reaches of my soul:

A yielded life, a sacrifice poured out as an offering;

Once scarred and marred, a broken man whom God has healed and made whole.

My heart overflows, as I look back over my life and see

How way leads on to way from the first Wednesday until this birthday.

However, once again I see that the best is yet to be,

As I yearn within to express my love in another way

When the pressures of this transient life will no longer bother,

When at last I compose and sing a new song for my Father.

The title of this year’s birthday poem brings to mind one of my favorite jazz compositions with a similar title: “Song for My Father” by the late Horace Silver.

Like a father: Abba, Father

June 16, 2015

Psalm-103-13In anticipation of Father’s Day which is only five days away, the Verse of the Day makes reference to God as a father.

Psalm 103:13 (New Living Testament):

The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

The Psalmist also declares:

Psalm 68:5 (NLT):

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows– this is God, whose dwelling is holy.

Other related scriptures include:

Proverbs 3:12

For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

1 Thessalonians 2:11

And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children.

Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

Abba, Father:

God is our father: We have the privilege, not just to call God, “our Father”, but we can call him “Abba, Father.” The word “Abba,” is a transliteration of the word “Father.” Since no English word adequately conveys the meaning of the Aramaic word, “Abba,” the translators use the transliteration of the term. The word conveys a close intimacy that is reserved for parents and children. We might compare the word to “Dad” or “Daddy” or some other term of endearment, but such translations do not really express the closeness implied by the term. Here are three places where the expression is used.

Mark 14:36

And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Romans 8:15

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Galatians 4:6

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

The Aramaic expression became the inspiration for the following poem:

Abba, Father

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear,

but you received the Spirit of adoption

by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  

Romans 8:15      

                       

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son

into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Galatians 4:6                                        

                       

Abba, Father,

all creation is groaning and moaning,

wrapped in a winding sheet

straining for relief, release. . .

sighing and crying,

we no longer suppress

the primeval urge to scream

but wail as if travailing in childbirth

Abba, Father,

our heart’s cries rise

from the depths of our souls,

stifled in some by disappointment,

crushed by discouragement and besetting sins—

heart-songs hushed in so many by hardship,

and buried in despair by hope deferred,

muffled and all but snuffed out by offense.

Abba, Father,

hear our yearning to express

what cannot be uttered,

listen to our guttural lament,

the alto rhapsody of

our navy blue notes,

fashioned from the twelve bar blues

of our soulful melancholody

Abba, Father,

hear this ecstasy of our prayer:

this inexpressible, irrepressible,

unspeakable joy infused into

the love song of a captive bird

released from the snare of the fowler,

a new sound, our song of the lark

composed to be sung on the wings of freedom

Abba, Father,

we long to sing a new song of the Lord,

a beautifully crafted ballad,

an aria de capo arranged for our Beloved,

a duet sung in two-part harmony

fashioned from our own Willow Song,

as our midnight cry harmonizes

with the voice of the bridegroom

Abba, Father,

as the Daystar dawns

and the sun of righteousness

rises to dispel the frigid, dark night,

receive these our brand new praise-songs,

songs in the night, sung in the morning,

raised to glorify and magnify your name,

as perfected true sons of God

now emerge to transform the earth

Maranatha Singers offer a rendition of “Abba Father/We Give You Glory” from a collection entitled “Abba”: 18 songs to the Father.