We come now to psalm 84, one of my all time favourites! For me the psalmist’s delight in being in the temple finds its paralell in my love of the simple, ancient English parish church. I wrote my responsive poem when we were still in the first full lockdown and I couldn’t go into our parish church at all, but the first thing I did when we were allowed back in was to go in, early in the morning when all was quiet and read this poem aloud in the church.
Thanks to everyone who attended our virtual launch for David’s Crown which was, as much as anything, a celebration of the psalms themselves. If you couldn’t get to the live event you can still watch it all here
As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the play button or the title and you can find the other poems in this evolving series by putting the word ‘psalm’ into the search box on the right.
Yahweh saves, Our God is merciful
And how I long to enter in his courts
To nestle at his altar and to dwell
With him for ever. Day and night my thoughts
Are yearning towards the beauty of his temple
In swallow-flights of song. For in his courts
Time is transfigured, opened out and ample,
It touches on eternity. I stay
Awhile within this church: its simple
Furnishings, and storied windows say
More to me of heaven than the pale
Abstractions of theology. A day
Spent in an empty church has been as full
Of goodness as an age elsewhere. I feel
Its peace refresh me like a holy well.
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