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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Today’s Reading | Psalm 99

The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
     He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
     he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
     Holy is he!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
     you have established equity;
you have executed justice
     and righteousness in Jacob.
Extol the Lord our God;
     worship at his footstool.
     Holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
     Samuel also was among those who called on his name.
     They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.
He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
     they kept his decrees,
     and the statutes that he gave them.

O Lord our God, you answered them;
     you were a forgiving God to them,
     but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Extol the Lord our God,
     and worship at his holy mountain;
     for the Lord our God is holy. (NRSV)


It is clear to me in reading Psalm 99 today that in addition to it stating that God is king over the nations, it also makes clear our place in relationship to this God our king. Phrases like “Let the earth shake,” “Let the nations tremble,” and “Worship at his footstool” leave in my mind little room for personal interpretation. Being raised by a Calvinist, I am quite comfortable with the thought that God alone unchangeably decrees the covenantal relationship with God’s creation. I should be way ahead on this “trembling at his footstool” concept, but I am not. I have recently been trying to pray on my knees in the morning. This has been very humbling. I am humbled in a good way, showing, accepting, and honoring my relationship to God, my king.

I am sometimes humbled in a humiliating way, when, on my knees beside the bed on a morning, I hear my husband turn over toward my side. I quickly abandon my God and king and pretend I am looking for my glasses . . . nice. I have since moved my humble prayer from bedside to the exercise mat, where I can disguise my prostration as some sort of yoga stretch. Why can’t I assume this footstool relationship with God!?

The Bible teaches me that Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and Jesus prostrated themselves when praying. A Muslim assumes the Sajdah position of prostration when praying the words “Glorified is my Lord, the Most High.” Why in our culture are children most often depicted as the ones praying on their knees? Perhaps it is easy to consider our God as king. But is it so easy to accept that we are not a member of God’s court, but a lowly servant?


God, you are exalted over all the nations. Please help me understand that you are exalted over me. Amen.

Written by Katy Sinclair, Associate Director of Music for Children and Youth

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