Psalm 67 is clearly intended for use in worship. The psalm follows the contours of our prayer and our encounter with God in worship. We move from saying what we hope God will do (verse 1) to addressing God directly (verses 2-5) and finally to making our petitions to God (verses 6-7). Within the psalm there seems to be a movement or almost a dance between what we pray for, the answer God gives, and our human response to God’s answer. Our encounters with God seem to follow these steps; as a result, we are ultimately transformed.
This psalm links us to congregations of worshipers who have prayed it for thousands of years, who recognize that transformation depends on God’s grace and blessing. But the psalm also makes clear that transformation depends on human recognition that God has acted and is the source of the transformation.
The process of transformation may begin with our feeling the warm blessing of God’s face shining upon us, but it then leads to more challenging journeys of knowing God’s way (verse 4)and experiencing God’s saving power through life’s valleys. The psalm speaks not just of the transformation of an individual or community. Rather it envisions the possibility of all nations being glad and singing for joy about God’s equity in judgment and guidance of all people. God brings about the harvest each year, a reminder of God’s desire and ability to transform the whole world.
May your face shine upon us, O God of light. May we know your way and experience your saving power. Transform us. Make us new again. Amen.