URC Daily Devotion Sunday 14th August 2022

Sunday 14th August 2022
 
Psalm 104

The mountains stand in awe.
The thunder speaks Your name.
Creation waits to serve its God
With wind and flame.
The heavens know Your power.
None question what You do.
The oceans riot unrestrained
But bow to You.

The mighty rains pour down
As blessings from above.
The storms that seem to howl and rage
Are storms of love.
They water all the earth.
Your rivers fuller flow.
They bring the faithful care that all
Your creatures know.

Almighty, Sovereign Lord,
I wait at Your command.
I live and move and breathe within
Your mighty hand.
With earth and sea and sky,
With all Your love has made,
With every thought and breath I rise
To give You praise!

Ken Bible © 2007 LNWHymns.com

You can hear the tune to which this Psalm is set, Leoni, here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIx16x9PM8s

Reflection

There are many familiar hymns based on this Psalm – this one focuses on the relationship of creator with creation then challenges us to respond in praise and service.

To watch the waves crashing in on a stormy day is a magnificent sight – the Psalmist reminds us that God’s power is greater, but that power is tempered by caring for creation.  Conversely the power of creation is used to serve God’s purposes – the NRSV version of the Psalm says “you make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers.” v4 What isn’t mentioned is the destructive forces that can be unleashed. Is creation unquestioning when faced with the pain of climate change? Maybe creation is sending humanity a message. The web of life is being torn, does it have the resources to mend and adapt? Ever hopeful the Psalmist is confident that the creator has all in hand. Life returns after volcanic eruptions, flash floods, and forest fires.

The metaphors of clothing in the Psalm may evoke a picture of a parent helping to dress a child or tucking them into bed. Such gentleness is picked up in the summarising phrase ‘faithful care’ in the second verse of this hymn. The second verse looks at water as a metaphor for God’s life giving blessing. Anthropogenic climate change is bringing wilder weather. For those on the receiving end of stormy weather it can be hard to see them as a blessing. If you have ever seen time lapse pictures of a desert springing to life after a rainstorm or know the impact of regular watering on a vegetable patch, you will know how amazing water can be.

In the third verse, it is time to be moved to praise the Creator in response to the awesomeness of creation. Creation is at God’s service and cared for by God; so are we. What does God command? A faithful people to be co-workers in harmony with his purposes for the blessing of all creation.

Prayer

We give thanks for the world that You have made, loving God.
We ponder its beauty and delicacy, and ask forgiveness for damaging it.
Help us to work with You, not against You, bringing life-giving regeneration and blessing to your hurting world.
In the name of Jesus
Amen

 

Today’s writer

The Rev’d Viv Henderson, Minister of Minehead URC and mental health chaplain

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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