1 Praise the Lord, O all you nations; all you people, sing his praise. For his love is great towards us; his commitment lasts always. He is faithful now and ever. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
You can hear a Free Church of Scotland congregation sing this to the tune Regent Square here or to Westminster Abbey here.
Psalm 117 forms the shortest chapter of the Bible but it is a little gem of praise. It emphasizes that God’s covenant relationship is with “us” and with “all nations”. Martin Luther wrote a long commentary upon these two verses on the grounds that they were basic to our understanding of the love of God. “As I see it,” Luther declared, “the whole book of Acts was written because of this Psalm.”
On 3rd July, St.Thomas’ Day I was privileged to attend two powerful acts of worship in London when members of the Guys and St.Thomas’ Hospital chaplaincy team were welcomed to both the Community of the Cross of Nails and its new interfaith sister network, Together for Hope. The latter is a network of faith based and secular organisations who inspired by the story of Coventry Cathedral, share a common commitment to work for peace, justice and reconciliation.
The congregation included Jews, Buddhists, Christians and people representing the Muslim, Sikh, Humanist and Hindu commnities. The second ceremony, opposite the Houses of Parliament, was followed by a moment of praise when there was a release of doves on the river bank, signifying peace and healing.
For love which heals wounds, we will stand. For generosity which opens space for hope, we will stand. For nurturing, which builds a culture of peace, we will stand. For compassion, which seeks the best for all, we will stand. For respect, which enables us to love with difference, we will stand. For humility, which allows healthy relationship with others, we will stand. Together for hope, we will stand.
Together for Hope -A Pledge for Transformation
The Rev’d Mary Taylor, Minister, Crookham United Reformed Church including Flodden Peace Centre, a partner of the international Cross of Nails linked to Coventry Cathedral