Did you ever do Scratch Art in grade school?

Here are the three steps:

  1. Using different colored crayons fill a piece of drawing paper with shapes and patterns.
  2. With a black crayon only, color the entire page again covering all previous colors.
  3. Take a pointed object and make a drawing by scraping away the black crayon.

Crayon etching reveals the surprise of bright colors underneath darkness.

Life is like scratch art lived out through the poetry sung in Psalms. There are psalms of creation and praise, woe and lament, then surprise and thanksgiving after the dark times. Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann categorizes the Psalms as Orientation, Disorientation and New Orientation.

Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name – orients through praise to God who created all.

Disorientation and woe is expressed in Psalm 13:1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

GiveThanksAnd perhaps the best-known Psalm of new orientation, a contemporary version of which I sang years ago in public high school, is Psalm 100: A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.

Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.

For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

There are three steps to Thanksgiving:

  1. Praise God’s creation, a canvas of wild colors.
  2. Lament the darkness and disorientation
  3. Scrape away dark so bright colors shine through again in a new orientation.

Make a Joyful Noise and a Happy Thanksgiving.


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