August 27, 2023

A40: The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A (2023)

Richard Voelz

“Cover your ears because Psalm 138 is full-throated, wide open, unabashed, and unashamed thanksgiving to God. The Psalmist does not hold back from opening their heart and mouth wide to sing God’s praise…this is a major key, raucous, full-volume song. So much so, that if you are like me, it creates some dissonance,” says Richard Voelz, Associate Professor of Preaching & Worship and the Director of The Bridge for Early Career Preachers at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Voelz says, “It’s no surprise that when we encounter Psalm 138’s unbridled song of thanksgiving, that it can feel a little too syrupy sweet. Major key in a minor key world. Because we’ve been shaped to dwell on the bad news rather than seek out the good, it’s a whole lot easier to focus on the worst and complain than it is to find the good and give thanks.” How do we overcome this tendency? Listen as Voelz reminds us of the importance of cultivating gratitude and how it can change our hearts, minds, and attitudes.

Manuscript available: click HERE