May 9, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 98, an exuberant celebration of God’s predilection and fidelity toward Israel. But at the same time, it is a call to recognize God’s love for ALL Creation:
The LORD has made his victory known;Psalm 98;2
has revealed his triumph in the sight of the nations
If we read the whole psalm, we might imagine all Creation assembled like a magnificent choir and orchestra – something like a supersized Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As the psalm progresses, the choirmaster-psalmist incorporates successive components into an awakened awareness until there is one universal melody of praise.
First, in a theme we met recently, the call to a NEW song:
Sing a new song to the LORD,Psalm 98: 1-3
who has done marvelous deeds…
..remembering mercy and faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.
Next, the vocals and the instruments
Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth;Psalm 98: 4-6
break into song; sing praise.
Sing praise to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
shout with joy to the King, the LORD.
Then nature’s “orchestra”
And even the suggestion of tambourine dancers along the river’s edge
Let the rivers clap their handsPsalm 98: 8-9
the mountains shout with them for joy,
before the LORD who comes,
who comes to govern the earth,
To govern the world with justice
and the peoples with fairness.
This inclusive psalm serves our other readings so well. The early Church in Acts has folded the Gentiles into the chorus.
Then Peter proceeded to speak and said,Acts 10: 34-35
“In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.
Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly
is acceptable to him.”
And Jesus gives us the underlying truth that, in his Love, we are ALL part of this cosmic symphony:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
Poetry: Shoulders – Naomi Shihab Nye
A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.
No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.
This man carries the world's most sensitive cargo
but he's not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE.
His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy's dream
deep inside him.
We're not going to be able
to live in this world
if we're not willing to do what he's doing
with one another.
The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.
Music: OK – it’s not the Mormon Tabernacle 😀 but it captures the spirit for me! I hope it puts you in the rhythm too, beloveds!