Daily Devotion 23rd September 2018

Psalm 65

In Zion praise awaits you, Lord;
to you our vows we’ll pay.
To you all people will come near;
you hear us when we pray.

When we were overwhelmed by sins,
and guilt upon us lay,
You pardoned all our trespasses
and washed our guilt away.

How blessed are those you choose, and bring
within your courts of grace!
We’re filled with blessings in your house,
in your most holy place.

With awesome deeds of righteousness
you answer us, O God,
Our Saviour, hope of farthest seas
and all the earth abroad.

By strength and power you formed the hills.
You hushed the oceans’ voice;
You calmed the tumult of their waves
and stilled the peoples’ noise.

Those who inhabit distant lands
with awe regard your ways;
Where morning dawns and evening fades,
you call forth songs of praise.

You tend the land and water it;
you make it rich and good.
As you ordained, your streams are full
to give the people food.

You drench the furrows of the land;
you level off the ground.
You soften it with showers of rain
and make its crops abound.

You crown the year with fruitfulness;
your harvests overflow.
The grassland flourishes again;
the hills with gladness glow.

The pastures green with flocks are clothed,
the meadows covering.
The valleys deck themselves with corn;
they shout for joy and sing.

You can hear a Free Church of Scotland sing this, from the second stanza, to the tune Huddersfield here.  It can also be sung to the rather better known tune Billing which you can hear here.

Reflection

My encounters with Psalm 65 have mostly been at Harvest Festivals, Creation-tide services, and “eco church” services, and then most often the version at 698 in Rejoice and Sing (although more often read than sung).  However, this Psalm is far deeper, broader, and richer than my experience thus far implies.

This is one of the Psalms of affirmation, celebrating that God reigns.  At first glance, this Psalm might appear to be a hotch potch of different interests, but it is a Psalm celebrating various aspects of God’s activity.  It celebrates that:

God answers prayer
God forgives
God saves
God creates
God powers the life cycles of earth

This Psalm is about so much more than Harvest Festivals.  It can remind us to celebrate all that God is and God does.  When did you last talk to someone else in your church about good things that God had done in your life, or in your church, or in your community?  Is it time to do that again?

 
 

Prayer

God of love,
we celebrate your constant presence
in our lives and in our world,
your faithfulness in us has never wavered.

God of justice,
we acknowledge your constant presence
in the life and actions
of those who have challenged
the prejudice and discrimination
of their world.

God of mercy,
we recognise your constant presence
in the ones who take great risks
to bring the good news
to troubled peoples and places.

God of purpose,
may we find within ourselves
knowledge of the tasks
you call us to undertake
and the conviction and courage
to see them through. Amen.

Today’s Writer

The Revd Michael Hopkins is minister of The Spire Church, Farnham (a Methodist and United Reformed Church) and Elstead URC, and Clerk of the General Assembly of the URC.

Bible Version

 

Sing Psalms! © Psalmody and Praise Committee, Free Church of Scotland, 15 North Bank St, Edinburgh, EH1 2LS

Copyright © 2018 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.

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