Daily Archives: January 14, 2021

The Song Of Heaven: A Response to Psalm 75

We come now to Psalm 75, a milestone in our journey through the Psalter for now we are exactly half way through! Before I write about this psalm and give you my poem in response, I’d like to take occasion to celebrate the fact that David’s Crown, the book in which all these poems are collected will be published at the end of this month, and also to invite you to a special celebration and launch event! On February 11th at 7pm Canterbury Press, my publisher will be hosting a webinar in which I will be joined by Christine Smith, my editor, and three distinguished guests, to discus the book, and the more generally the role of the psalms in our contemporary life, and to choose, read, and comment on a selection of the poems. My guests are Paula Gooder, the distinguished Bible Scholar and Canon theologian at St. Paul’s Cathedral, who wrote the introduction to the book, David Taylor, the professor of Theology at fuller, who wrote ‘Open and Unafraid’, a superb book on reading the psalms in a contemporary setting, and Roger Wagner, the artist and poet who has just published The Book of Praises: Translations from the Psalms. It should be a wonderful evening, it will be completely free and you can register for it Here. 

David’s Crown will also be available to order at a discount that evening for those who register for the webinar.

Now, turning to psalm 75, I feel we reach an upland of clarity and confidence after the dark material with which some of the other psalms have been dealing, particularly the lamentation and protest of psalm 74. In psalm 75 the psalmist is assured that in the end, ‘God is the Judge’, that he alone ‘bears up the pillars of the world, and that in the end he will renew the earth and set all wrongs to right. As in so much of the Old Testament, there is still of course a strong element of fear, fear of judgement and fear of wrath, and the image of that in this psalm is of a cup full of blood red wine which the earth will drink to the dregs:

For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red: it is full mixed, and he poureth out of the same.

As for the dregs thereof: all the ungodly of the earth shall drink them, and suck them out.

But of course for the Christian this image is completely transfigured by the sacrifice of Christ and the gift of holy communion. as I say in my poem:

we lift our heads and gaze 

At you in wonder, for we see the cup

The psalmist feared, so full of blood red wine,

Is now a cup of blessing, life and hope.

As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the play button or the title.

LXXV Confitebimur tibi

When darkness fled before your holy Word

You brought a world of beauty into being.

The sons of morning sang, creation heard


The song of heaven, and its echoes fleeing

Still stir a kind of music in our hearts,

As traces of that light transform our seeing.


And when we hear those echoes, heaven starts

A song in us that lifts us into praise.

You show us how the wickedness that hurts,


The sin that harms creation, the dark maze

Of our confusions, will be broken up

And cast aside. We lift our heads and gaze 


At you in wonder, for we see the cup

The psalmist feared, so full of blood red wine,

Is now a cup of blessing, life and hope.


If you would like to encourage and support this blog, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!

Buy Me A Coffee


Filed under imagination