JUNE 11

Read | Psalm 65

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;

    to you our vows will be fulfilled.

You who answer prayer,

    to you all people will come.

When we were overwhelmed by sins,

    you forgave our transgressions.

Blessed are those you choose

    and bring near to live in your courts!

We are filled with the good things of your house,

    of your holy temple.

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,

    God our Savior,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

    and of the farthest seas,

who formed the mountains by your power,

    having armed yourself with strength,

who stilled the roaring of the seas,

    the roaring of their waves,

    and the turmoil of the nations.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;

    where morning dawns, where evening fades,

    you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it;

    you enrich it abundantly.

The streams of God are filled with water

    to provide the people with grain,

    for so you have ordained it.

You drench its furrows and level its ridges;

    you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

You crown the year with your bounty,

    and your carts overflow with abundance.

The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;

    the hills are clothed with gladness.

The meadows are covered with flocks

    and the valleys are mantled with grain;

    they shout for joy and sing.

Respond | Joey Dearduff

I always found it interesting the poetic imagery in the Psalms that paints the earth (Creation, nature, the wilderness… it goes by many names) as dynamic, as if it actually possesses and embraces sentience. The pastures, hills, meadows, and valleys of the sixty-fifth psalm are no exception: they shout and sing together for joy, worshipping the Lord who created then and nurtures and protects them abundantly. I love this images, as hyperbolic and fantastical as they may at first seem to be, because I’ve seen the trees dance, the mountains clap their hands, the meadows sing. Wind blowing gently through the forest behind my apartment provides the rhythm to which the upper branches of the trees sway as if in worship of the God who sends the wind. The mountain claps loudly and violently when a rockfall slides into some ravine on the south face, almost shaking the ground upon which I stand on my hike, ushering me into an awe-filled reverence for the God sent the cascade. And the same wind that gave rhythm to the trees gives song to the meadow as it rushes through the grass, filling the air with an earthen harmony. Creation worships, and I along with it.

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