Students Creatively Adapt the Psalms

This semester InterVarsity students in British Columbia have been gathering online on a weekly basis to mediate and creatively respond to psalms of lament and psalms on praise. On October 7th, we reflected on Psalm 22, a psalm of lament that was a part of the formal liturgy and worship practices within the temple of Jerusalem for over a thousand years. Following in the vein of communal tradition and inspired by the language of the diverse communities that we are connected to, we collaborated and creatively adapted this Psalm to our current times.
As we meditated on Psalm 22, we chose to honestly acknowledge and pray through the places where we are experiencing grief due to COVID-19. As we prayed, God reminded us that Biblical lament allows us to be deeply seen and known by each other. In these times filled with so much isolation, we need this beautiful practice of prayer that God can use to bridge the gap and distances between people. We hope that our written Psalm 22 inspires you and your communities to begin your own practice of reading and praying through the Psalms together.
Alan Thorimbert
Campus Staff for SFU & UVIC

Hey God! God! Why have you left me hanging fam? What’s taking you so long to help me, to get back to me?


I called you during the day – no answer. I called you at night – still no answer.


You a saint; sitting on your royal seat like a boss over the whole country.


Our fam back then trusted you and you came through for them.


They called you and they got saved. They could say, “We trust this guy”.


Feeling less than worthy and unable to attain any love from anyone.


Publicly shamed and rejected with apathy.


“You believe in Jesus eh? Let Him come down from Heaven if He cares for you.”


By name God knows and loves. God is trustworthy.


Not even my mother’s womb has been as safe as your arms. No wonder my parents entrusted me to you! I was presented to you as yours the moment I was born, and you became my God since then.


And it would suck if that stopped now, because I can feel trouble breathing on my neck. Only you can get me out of this one!


Have you seen a bull fight? Of course you have! Well, I can’t even fight them because I’m the rodeo clown! And my enemies are just as senseless and irrational as a bull: they can’t even think straight, making wild attacks against me.


To think I trusted some of them, and even followed their counsel. I expected a more “civilized” confrontation with them. But their true nature has been shown. They are truly enjoying this, licking their claws and making sport of me.


My program is ending like a memory leak. My computer files have been completely disorganized. My CPU has overheated, and melted all over the motherboard.


My batteries have been depleted. I try to call for help, but you have left me in a place with zero cell phone coverage.


For bandits surround me. A party of rogues encircles me. They have lowered my HP.


I can count my items in my inventory. They want to loot my corpse.


They divide my potions amongst themselves, and for my staff and tome they use RNG.


Lord please stay here with me – I depend so much on you, for I am weak. Help me.


Give me freedom from pain and hurt, keep me shielded from the malice of others.


Lord rescue me from the darkness of this earth just as you have done before.


I will speak your truth to everyone I know. In the streets I will shout of your goodness in praise.


Children of God, sing of His goodness! Children of God praise Him through your actions! All people on this earth give Him all the glory!


God does not overlook our anguish, His comfort does not disappear but is vigilant of our needs.


God is my inspiration for the worship in my community and I will continue to praise you among those who are afraid of you.


A meal will be offered to all in participation of our fellowship with Christ, may your souls be eternal.


Oh say old, say this, let the land have common memory – of YHWH and his friendship.


We, all family without borders in his sanctuary. This is how we worship. This is how we praise his name.


‘Cause we know who really rules. We know who’s really King.


So put your podiums, press releases under his feat.


There’s only one first Minister.


By you, we are ministered to as we sleep, so let all lay down in rest, and sleep next to you.


By you, we walk through death into life , choosing to be diminished by death – so that we might walk into capital Life, that never-ending-story-of-this-is-how-you-intended-it-to-be way-nephesh Life!


Legacy washes your dishes


And we shall tell of the feet you continue to wash


Yes, legacy calls out from the future through the voices of the children we shall have saying “Remember, remember – The wounded lamb who is the lion that has had his victory.



Artists Collaborators:

Sarah Dredger, Langara College

Andi Zhang, Simon Fraser University

Daniel Rae, Langara College

Amos Bohoussou, University of British Columbia

Ezequiel Hernandez, University of British Columbia

Jungsoo Park, University of British Columbia

Ashley Brettell, Langara College

Vikki Moon, Campus Staff at Langara College

Alan Thorimbert, Campus Staff at Simon Fraser University & University of Victoria

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