Week Five

Week Five

Poetic Expression

Stephen Shoemaker says, “Psalm 131 is a tender and intimate song. It is simple but not simplistic… It is a song of mature faith.” This week we are going to explore the poetic expression of Psalm 131. Each day we will examine a new version of this Psalm in order to gain new insights and deeper revelations. As we read each variation, we will compare it to our regular translation, the Christian Standard Bible, and see how these texts differ and enhance our understanding of this Psalm.

WEEK FIVE VIDEO: Read and Write Poetry

Consider these questions:

  • Why is it important to remember that Psalm is a poem and a song?
  • How do poems and songs shape the understanding of our faith?
  • Why does poetic expression show that we are part of the human race, created in the image of God?

ICEBREAKER: What is one of your favorite songs, and what makes it meaningful for you?




Psalm 131 chant by John Michael Talbot
Psalm 131 (Come to the Quiet) by John Michael Talbot.
Psalm 131 by the Orchardists
Psalm 131 by Sarah Sparks
Psalm 131 by Waterdeep


This week we will explore a practice called ideaphoria. This is an exercise where we break down each word in a selected passage by brainstorming synonyms, thoughts and ideas which come to your mind as you examine each word in that passage. As you brainstorm, write down any word, thoughts, or ideas no matter how simple, strange or mundane. Once you have listed your thoughts over a particular word, move onto the next.
Once your brainstorming session is complete, review your lists. Highlight or circle the words that stand out to you. Finally, rewrite the statement in your own words.
After examining the poem in various forms throughout the week, rewrite Psalm 131 in your own words. Allow the Spirit to guide you as you take into account your heart and emotions, and what God is teaching you through the text. Your poem does not need to fit any literary structure or even rhyme.
At our final gathering we will present our poems to each other, and hear how God is speaking to us as individuals and as a community on this pilgrimage to the worship in the temple together.