I love playing with words, whether it’s relaxing with a New York Times crossword puzzle, or learning to solve cryptic crosswords, or using different letters to paraphrase Psalm 23.
So for my last sermon, I thought of including my own acrostic psalm of thanks in keeping with my sermon text from Psalm 111. “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,” says the psalmist, and this exuberant offering of thanks finds expression in the acrostic structure of the psalm:
After the opening “Praise the Lord!” the first line of the psalm begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet,
the second line with the second letter,
the third line with the third letter,
and so on with each line through the entire Hebrew alphabet.
Just as we might say something is complete from A to Z, there’s a sense of completion in this psalm with the Hebrew alphabet from aleph to taw. The psalmist offers a whole-hearted thanksgiving for all that God is and does.
As it turned out, I didn’t write an acrostic psalm for my sermon, but here is my word play now:
Give thanks to God
Boundless in love,
Creative Heart of the universe,
full of grace and
glory, full of
holiness and justice,
Kind Friend, yet
Lord of all,
Only Son, the
Peace Keeper crucified, then
risen by God’s
Spirit of Power.
Teacher and Comforter,
victory, healing our
yesterday, today, and forever,
Zeal of the Lord Almighty.
Thanks be to God
Writing/Reflection Prompt: Check out 5 Reasons to Be Inspired by Psalm 111 and Poetry Prompt: Six Steps to Writing the Polished Acrostic Poem, then try writing your own acrostic psalm of gratitude.
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6 thoughts on “Thanks Be to God!”
Wonderful! Begs to be read aloud, lifting hands and heart and voice . . .
Yes! What a beautiful thought, Laurie. In the ancient world, the Psalms were always read–or sung–aloud, and I love to do that with the Psalms today too.
Well done, April. This is your own Psalm, not a paraphrase of Psalm 111, right?
Yes, it’s my own psalm, Elfrieda. I followed the structure of Psalm 111 with an opening and closing that echo one another, and for each line in between I used the letters of the English alphabet to start. I also continued with the theme of praise/thanksgiving, so while mine isn’t a paraphrase, it’s inspired by Psalm 111.
April, what awesome, beautiful, creative, devotional,,,, praise poem, etc. 8>)
Thanks for your comment, Richard. Praise God!