preaching study: psalm 51 (ash wednesday), pt 1

In “preaching study” posts, I’m really interested in fostering a “community” approach to study and prep for the sermon, so please interact as much as you like. All Scripture quotes are from the TNIV unless otherwise noted. Thanks!

Ok, this will be pretty fast because I’m preaching for Ash Wednesday. Of the Ash Wednesday texts, I’ve chosen to preach from Psalm 51 this year.

This is, of course, the psalm that comes from one of the great passages of Scripture in all of the Bible and indeed one of the greatest passages of literature in all the world, 2 Samuel 11-12. I’m growing convinced that Shakespeare probably got every idea he ever needed for the characters in his tragedies from these two chapters of Scripture.

More to come, but for now I’ll just say that this Psalm contributes so much to our lexicon of prayer and liturgy as well as developing our theological sensitivities concerning the themes of sin, repentance, forgiveness, mercy, renewal, deliverance, salvation, and worship. It is an excellent example of how poetry contributes in ways that systematic delineations of theological subjects cannot. While the latter expounds and explains, the former narrates thus connecting more intimately and resonating with our experience. 


Published by Guy M Williams

Christian | Husband, Father | Pastor | 8th-Gen Texan | Texas A&M ‘96 | Asbury Seminary ‘01 | Enjoy family, reading, running, golf, college football

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