Claimed …. Called …. Sent

Thursday, March 21

Psalm 65: 5-13 (NRSV)
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.

David’s psalm, brimming with lavish nature imagery of the greatness of God and the richness of God’s creation, is joyously uplifting.  It extols a God of awesome deeds and mighty power, who actively participates in caring for what God has created.

David recognizes that God reveals something of God’s self through nature.  He understands that to know and love God, one must maintain a connection and live in harmony with all of God’s creation.  He portrays God as a Master Gardener, facilitating abundant life for all.  God ensures that all parts of nature live in balance with each other so that each can receive what it needs to thrive.  All of nature responds to God’s careful tending with joy and singing.

What would David write today?  In modern times, we humans have taken far more than our fair share of God’s bounty, to the detriment of other parts of God’s cherished creation.  Our greed and thoughtlessness have diminished our connection with God and produced serious challenges for present and future generations. Nature is more likely to cry out in anguish than sing for joy.

How do we as “kingdom people” respond to nature’s cry? God cares deeply for all of creation and so must we, for we have been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). We recognize God’s call in Genesis 2:15 to “till and keep” the earth, to work in partnership with him as stewards of the earth.  LPC is answering this call by being an Earth Care Congregation. We praise and thank God for creation as we strive to understand our place in God’s plan and work faithfully to restore and care for God’s earth.

Dear God, we marvel at your glorious creation. We thank you for providing what we need to sustain us, and for making the earth beautiful.  Forgive us when we live in ways that damage your creation. Grant us vision and strength to act as responsible stewards of your earth.  May we move in partnership with you toward a day when all of nature is restored, shouting and singing for joy.  Amen.

Susan Bartram