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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Today’s Reading | Psalm 65

Praise is due to you,
   O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
   O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
   you forgive our transgressions.
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
   to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
   your holy temple.

By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
   O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
   and of the farthest seas.
By your strength you established the mountains;
   you are girded with might.
You silence the roaring of the seas,
   the roaring of their waves,
   the tumult of the peoples.
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it,
   you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
   you provide the people with grain,
   for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
   settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
   and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
   your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
   the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
   the valleys deck themselves with grain,
   they shout and sing together for joy. (NRSV)

The language of this psalm echoes the first verses of Genesis, in which God gives shape to the formless void while using that shaping as a demonstration of God’s sustaining hand with us, and many scholars speculate that this psalm was one closely related to the harvest.

I will readily admit to not being much of a “nature person,” but the language that springs forth out of the text reminds me of the still mornings on the camping trips I used to take as a child. I have a memory of unzipping the tent door one morning and being overwhelmed by the sense of stillness and peace that hung in the cool air and morning fog, perhaps a bit like Elijah standing on Mt. Horeb. There wasn’t really anything terribly remarkable going on at that moment, and yet it was an incredible reminder that God is in the mundane as much as the miraculous. We need not wait for large moments of transcendent beauty, for we are surrounded by small moments of transcendent beauty all of the time.

May we count those little moments in abundance this week, ever thankful to the God who sustains us each and every day of our lives.

I am grateful, O Lord, for all of the ways in which your hand has subtly shaped my life. Please continue to guide and sustain me, and give me a deep awareness of the richness that surrounds me. Amen.

Written by Matt Helms, Associate Pastor for Children and Family Ministry

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