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Monday, April 22, 2013

Today’s Reading | Psalm 104:1–23

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
     O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
     wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
     you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
     you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers,
     fire and flame your ministers.

You set the earth on its foundations,
     so that it shall never be shaken.
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
     the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they flee;
     at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
     to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
     so that they might not again cover the earth.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
     they flow between the hills,
giving drink to every wild animal;
     the wild asses quench their thirst.
By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
     they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
     the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
     and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,
     and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
     and bread to strengthen the human heart.
The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
     the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
In them the birds build their nests;
     the stork has its home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats;
     the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
     the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night,
     when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
The young lions roar for their prey,
     seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises, they withdraw
     and lie down in their dens.
People go out to their work
     and to their labor until the evening. (NRSV)


So many things come to my mind when I read this passage. My initial thoughts are about some of my favorite hymns we sing honoring God’s creation, particularly because with spring upon us and with today being Earth Day, it is a wonderful time to celebrate the gifts of the earth. The passage also reminded me of a twelve-hour car trip my father and I took to see my grandparents when I was very young. On that trip, I asked my father many questions. Every time he answered a question, I responded with, Why? Somehow he was able to answer all my whys. All of the whys of today may not be so easy to understand. But when I read this passage, I am comforted by being reminded that God is in control. God has a why and a plan. God gives us many gifts to remind us of his presence. I am thankful for “the beauty of the earth” and “all creatures great and small.”


God, thank you for your presence in my life. Thank you for the gifts of the earth. Help me remember your presence as I enjoy the beauty of your creation. Amen.

Written by Rebecca Nilsson, member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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