In this psalm, the writer meditates on the power and strength of God, declaring how God is able to shake up the world with merely God’s voice. God’s voice has the ability to “shake the wilderness” and “causes the oaks to whirl.” Folks living in California or Oklahoma may know first hand what it feels like when an earthquake hits. I’ve only endured one unexpected earthquake that rumbled through Virginia and the District of Columbia in 2011. It was discombobulating. Previously, my experience had led me to trust that the ground beneath my feet was a steady surface upon which I could depend.
Most days, the ground is steady. But sometimes the earth shakes, and I remember that there are far more powerful forces at work in the universe than my daily concerns. The natural world around us is brimful of the evidence of God’s majesty and power, from the steady spin of the earth on its axis day and night in constant, unending cycle to the stunning array of colors of leaves, flowers, and sky that no artist, paint, or camera can ever quite duplicate. Sometimes we need to be reminded of God’s majesty in order to regain perspective on our own lives.
How often do we become obsessed with trivial, insignificant matters, allowing them to take up more room and energy than they deserve? When do we become bogged down in the minutia and miss the significant? How do we learn to discern between the insignificant and the significant? This psalm ends by asking God to bless humanity with peace. Maybe it is the peace of God which enables us to recognize clearly what is significant in our lives.
God of creation, continue to surprise us with awe and wonder. Keep us mindful of your presence. Teach us to align our priorities with your will. Amen.
This Sunday we will celebrate the Trinity, the Christian belief that God is one being and exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Christian theologians point out that there are many references to this doctrine in the Bible. In Isaiah, the voice of the Lord asks, “Who will go for us?” not, “Who will go for me?” In Romans, Paul speaks of all three persons of the Trinity: We pray to the Father through the Spirit because of the work of the Son. Jesus also speaks to Nicodemus about the role of all three persons of the Trinity. This may not be the simplest of Christian doctrines, but it is foundational because it explains the nature of God and God’s work throughout human history.
Read Isaiah 6:1-8. Can you recall a time when you said to God, “Here I am; send me”? What prompted you? What helped you feel empowered to serve?
Read Psalm 29. As you read about the power of the Lord’s voice, do you find yourself frightened or drawn in? How approachable is God to you?
Read Romans 8:12-17. When has fear controlled you? How does being led by God’s Spirit free you from fear?
Read John 3:1-17. How has your life been reshaped by the Spirit? How did sins and failings manifest in the new creation?
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