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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Today’s Reading | Psalm 104:24–35

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
     In wisdom you have made them all;
     the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
     creeping things innumerable are there,
     living things both small and great.
There go the ships,
     and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

These all look to you
     to give them their food in due season;
when you give to them, they gather it up;
     when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
     when you take away their breath, they die
     and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
     and you renew the face of the ground.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
     may the Lord rejoice in his works—
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
     who touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
     I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
     for I rejoice in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
     and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord! (NRSV)

Reflection

According to English bishop Christopher Wordsworth, “This psalm is an inspired ‘Oratorio of Creation.’” As a musician, I find this description particularly apt and delightful. In the latter portion of today’s psalm, God’s wisdom is extolled, and we see that “the earth is full of thy riches.” God’s creation is self-renewing so that it provides for the needs of its inhabitants, and we are told that “the Lord shall rejoice in his works.”

We can see what a wonderful world has been provided for us and for all living creatures. Through travel and television programs such as Nature on PBS, we experience the variety and abundance of species and ecosystems. A visit to the aquarium or a scuba-diving adventure reveals magnificent forms of underwater life. Boat trips along the coasts allow us to watch whales (“leviathan”). Truly, it is all there—provided by God.

As stewards of God’s creation, let us look for more ways to protect, preserve, honor, and restore it. As our love for creation deepens, so will our commitment to caring for it.


Prayer

Thank you for the wonderful physical world that you have created for us: the mountains, the forests, the seas, and the living things that surround our daily life. Raise my consciousness and guide me in making good decisions that reflect my genuine care for your creation. Amen.


Written by Annette Bacon, member of Fourth Presbyterian Church


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