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Monday, June 8, 2015

Today’s Reading | Psalm 96

O sing to the Lord a new song;
     sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
     tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
     his marvelous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
      he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
     but the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him;
     strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
     ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
     bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor;
     tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord is king!
     The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
     He will judge the peoples with equity.”
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
     let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
     let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
     before the Lord; for he is coming,
     for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
     and the peoples with his truth. (NRSV)

The heading for this psalm in the NRSV Bible that I use reads “Praise to God Who Comes in Judgment.” After a long weekend where I now feel more behind in all the little things of life than I did before the weekend started, I’m not feeling very secure about God who comes in judgment.

Rather, I feel much more in tune with another psalm, Psalm 51 (“Prayer for Cleansing and Pardon”) and the lines therein: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”

  • The unbalanced bank statement and the bills yet to be paid
  • My short temper with my kids
  • The unreturned phone call
  • My failure to be fully present with my guests
  • The unnecessary items at the grocery store
  • My lack of attention to anything in the world this weekend other than my own immediate concerns

And looking ahead to the end of the school year and all those obligations and the to-do list that only gets longer . . . it’s hard not to feel beaten down, even with my comfortable, privileged life.

So it really is time to sing to the Lord a new song. To take a new view. To relinquish my oh-so-limited perspective on things. To join with all the earth in singing for joy that the Lord is coming. And to trust in God’s glory and salvation and judgment. Praise be to God.

Glorious God, relieve me of my little worries that I may more fully serve and worship you. Amen.

Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life

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