You can hear the Wild Goose Resource Worship Group sing the first verse of the Psalm here
This Psalm is a striking prayer of contentment and trust in God. The beautiful image of the happiness of a weaned child at her mother’s breast complements the idea of turning one’s back on false dreams, pride, vain glory and endless ambition and finding peace with God. It’s profoundly counter cultural – in much the same way that the saints we’re exploring were.
In our world we’re encouraged to strive for more, better jobs, fashionable cars, faster computers (as I write details of the latest MacBook were emailed to me resulting in rather less contentment with my current model than I should have!) We value who we are based on what we do and how well we’re doing. We take pride in our achievements but the Psalmist sees all this as vain glory.
Instead, true happiness, gentle contentment, is to be found in God, as safe as the child at her mother’s breast. This level of contentment is worth waiting for, it’s worth telling others about, it’s worth rejecting the values of our world for. Our edgy saints, in all their quirkiness and oddity realised this and found ways in their own times and cultures to give expression to this deep trust in God. The task for us is to do the same in our own age.
Help us, O Most High, to turn our eyes towards you and away from the vain glories thrown at us.
Help us, O Ancient of Days, to find contentment at your breast, and the grace to wait for You. Amen.
The Rev’d Andy Braunston is the Minister for Digital Worship and a member of the Peedie Kirk URC in Kirkwall, Orkney.