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Z is for zenith #AtoZChallenge

For the A to Z in April Challenge 2019 I have picked some words, which are connected with physical space.

Z is for zenith and z-coordinate
The highest point in the sky
And another way to designate
Three dimensions on flat paper with X and Y.

A corner similar to x-,y- and z-axes

I found maths (or math, if you prefer) very difficult when it involved three dimensions. So let’s skip to zenith!

Having reached the last post in this challenge apart from the Reflections, which comes later, I suspect that hardly anyone has bothered with my links to Bible passages on Bible Gateway. The whole of the Bible is available online on that website in many different translations, which can be compared to help readers understand the meaning.

I find the Book of Psalms particularly helpful. Earlier on this blog a series of posts recorded the #psalmtweets I posted on Twitter. One psalm in particular reminds me of the word zenith – the highest point in the sky.

God is higher than the highest point! The paradox is that as St Paul pointed out to the people of Athens, He is also very close to us: ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ To read this in context please click the link. Acts 17:16-34.

Please scroll down to access other posts using the >> or << links.

What else I read in 2018

Bible study books

I once complained to my mother, as she removed the cereal packets from the breakfast table, “You have taken my reading away!” Now you know that, it may not surprise you that I have not yet written about everything I have read this year. I have read instructions, messages, letters, the local newspaper, the free local guide, National Trust magazines, English Heritage magazines and numerous blog posts and Tweets.

Some of the books I have read during the year have escaped from my regular bookish posts. They are not books, which I have sat down and read from cover to cover; some are daily Bible reading notes, others are books which help untrained people study the Bible together.

The Bible reading notes I use are New Daylight published by the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) and The Upper Room also published by BRF in the UK, but also available in many languages and countries around the world.

Scripture Union/IVP publish Life Builder Bible studies. This year the Ladies Bible study group has used Daniel, The Fruit of the Spirit and is now part way through Angels. Because the studies are intended for use by untrained (lay) people, leadership of the group can be shared between those members, who are willing to chair a study. These were written by people in the USA. Some of the examples in them are less appropriate to UK culture and general knowledge.

The study of Angels barely scratches the surface of the subject. I hope to set aside some time to study it in more depth.

Some of the group read The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz. (I first became aware of this book via Bible Gateway.)

I have also continued to read through the Psalms as part of my daily reading and have begun to use Evelyn Underhill’s Prayer Book.

#PsalmTweets weeks 18 and 19

The #PsalmTweets project continues. The final Psalm of my previous post really belongs with these as it is the first of 15 songs of ascents. A while ago I learned from New Daylight, a publication of the Bible Reading Fellowship, that the songs of ascents were used by pilgrims on their way to worship God in the temple at Jerusalem. Jerusalem is also known as Zion after the mountain it stands on.

Only a few of these Psalms are attributed to specific psalmists. One each by David and his son, Solomon.

These weeks included Christmas and New Year. I was economical in my Tweets and used these #psalmtweets to greet anyone, who happened to read them!

Ps. 121: A well-known psalm describing the help and protection God gives. #psalmtweets Happy Christmas!

Ps. 122: A beautiful psalm about Jerusalem – joyful anticipation of going to the house of the Lord. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Ps. 123: In this 4th song of ascents the psalmist looks to God in heaven as his master. He asks for mercy because of proud and arrogant mockers.

Ps. 124: A song of ascents suggesting what might have happened without God’s help. Praise to the Lord, who made heaven and earth for salvation and help. (There but for the grace of God…)

Ps. 125: A song of ascents with images from the landscape around Jerusalem. some thoughts about good and evil. “Peace be upon Israel.”

Ps. 126: A song of ascents remembering God’s work in bringing exiles back to Zion. a prayer for restoration. Verses about weeping while sowing and harvesting with joy

Ps. 127:Solomon’s song of ascents is well-known. He was responsible for building the temple, but knew God’s help was needed. ‘Unless the Lord…’ Also children come from the Lord – a blessing #PsalmTweets @JustCardsDirect

Psalm 127

Psalm 127

Ps. 128: A song of ascents with promise of blessing. A bessing. ‘Peace be upon Israel’. #PsalmTweets Happy New Year!

Ps. 129: A song of ascents about persecution. The final verse makes more sense to me in the King James (Authorised Version) than in the NIV

(Originally I made a mistake here, thinking it was two verses, but it is just verse 8, which I found confusing. Counting is not my strong point! However I was preparing this post in advance, just in time to correct my scheduled Tweet.)

Neither do they which go by say,
The blessing of the Lord be upon you:
we bless you in the name of the Lord. (AV)

May those who pass by not say to them,
    ‘The blessing of the Lord be on you;
    we bless you in the name of the Lord.’ (NIV)

Ps. 130: A song of ascents which rises from he depths of guilt to the assurance of forgiveness and redemption.

Ps. 131: A song of ascents by David, humble and childlike, urging his people to put their trust in God – always.

Ps. 132. The longest of the songs of ascents. Looking back at David’s vow to find a place for the Lord and looking forward to his kingly descendant – Christ.

Ps. 133: A song of ascents about brothers living in unity, compared with the anointing with oil of Aaron the high priest and with dew on mount Zion, where God blesses with eternal life.

Ps. 134: a song of ascents of praise and blessing. I remember a chorus using the first 2 verses. The 3rd (last) verse requests a blessing from God the creator of heaven and earth.

 

There are many versions of the chorus available on Youtube. I remember a variation on the tune in this one. When tunes are passed on by hearing rather than from reading music all sorts of differences creep in. Here is one link.

The next post in this series will reach the end of the Book of Psalms.