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Friday, June 27, 2014

Scripture Reading: Psalm 104
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.

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)

Let my whole being bless the Lord . . .

This text brings to mind an experience I had while waiting for the 147 bus north, to make my way home after a particularly long day. The skies were grey all afternoon but never did pour out rain. I was glad to see the bus pull up, almost empty. I was exhausted. After two stops, I saw a mother board, holding the hand of her young son. He insisted, very vocally as they made their way down the aisle, that they sit in the seats that move back and forth when the accordion center articulates at each turn. “It’s very important,” he explained to his mother.

As the bus made its way along Michigan Avenue, it never really filled, but many people boarded and many got off. With any shuffle of a passenger past this young boy—still eager and always looking ahead to see when a turn would approach so the seats would move—he would greet the person with a boisterous “Hello!”or “Have a good evening!” He changed the greeting each time and pulled each person’s attention—and smile.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at this amazing little boy—so excited to communicate with everyone and spread his joy. Over the rather long run, the boy must have greeted fifty or so people. When it came to his stop and the doors opened, he turned to me, smiled wide enough to show an impossible number of teeth, and said, “Goodnight! Have a great day tomorrow!”

And I did.

. . . Let my whole being bless the Lord!

Lord, thank you for your magnificent splendors! Help me to remember, like the psalmist, to spread these joys to all people, no matter how familiar. Help me to remember to thank you again and again for what you’ve created for your children. And most of all, help me to remember you are there always, in everyone and everything. Amen.

Written by Ryan Loeckel, Coordinator for Music and Membership

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