As I wrote a couple of weeks ago (perhaps in excruciatingly long detail – see A Thirst for Deep Roots), I am currently taking an online class through Wartburg Seminary: Psalms in the Life of the Church. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into, but have found the readings, online discussions, and more intensive study wonderful – and a new cause of sleep deprivation!
During our second week of class, our focus was on Psalms of praise. We were each assigned to interpret 3 praise psalms from a pre-selected listing. (We then had to log-on, read and then comment on every single interpretation. That’s a lot of praise psalms…)
At first glance, a unique interpretation in my own words for this particular selection of Psalms seemed very challenging. They all used the same words! Praise God, God is great – over and over! How many different ways can you say “praise?!”
Flashback now… Early in the course, I had a conversation with the instructor. He referred to the author of one of our books as “the Psalms Yoda.” I told him that my 8-year-old son loves Star Wars, and that I could probably convince him to read the Psalms with me if I incorporated Star Wars characters! The instructor (either in seriousness or in jest – I’m not sure) advised that my son would benefit from reading the Psalms as Yoda. I laughed, then pondered, and then concluded that yes – absolutely yes! My son would love this!
So I guess I must say that my son helped me “cheat” on my homework – we worked together to interpret Psalm 150 as Yoda!
We chose Psalm 150 because it is a song familiar to both of us from church camp. My son and I worked together at the kitchen counter. We read Psalm 150 aloud together, discussed what the words actually meant to us, then tried to figure out how Yoda would say it.
As a person of faith, it was a moment of spiritual connectedness. As a mom, it was a touching moment to bond over words that impacted both of us in new ways!
I submitted the writing (to rave reviews I must add), fully acknowledging that I had help from an 8-year-old! A few days after, I went back to re-read the “Psalm 150 as Yoda” forum post. I found that the words themselves had lost a little impact. I think because it was that moment and relationship – that triangular experience with God, myself and my son – that was so powerful. It was not the words we created to finish my homework, but the time we shared together.
In case you are curious, here is our Psalm 150. I wonder which Psalm we’ll try next…
The Lord! Praise Him, you must!
Everywhere – to Him you must praise.
God, mighty He is. Worship Him you must! God, powerful He is.
With music you must praise! Shout praise to God all living things must!
God, love Him you must. Wise God is!
(Hmmm, Hmmm, Hmmm – hard it is, to spell Yoda’s laugh!)