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Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 29
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy splendor.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace! (NRSV)
Dare I say that few of us in our lifetimes have endured two years like the last two. A seemingly interminable storm of stress, anxiety, depression, and fear. Yet also the prospect of better times ahead—of renewal.
David the Psalmist has experienced a mighty storm as well, a tempest that prompts him to exult in the greatness of our God. As in biblical times, such challenges to the human experience occur to everyone. Simply perusing the Bible makes plain how our ancestors dealt with calamities.
For me, this powerful song of praise in the midst of life’s battles helps reinforce the assurance that our Almighty God is with us always. 24/7. The last verse, as we read it in the King James Version, offers that reassurance: “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.”
The psalms in particular spark composers to craft mighty hymns that capture the human expression to God. They serve, as one commentator has described them, as Jesus’ songbook. Psalm 29 is no exception. For me, this hymn “Holy”—based on Psalm 29 and sung by a full choir and orchestra—captures the tremendous power of David’s psalm.
Loving and gracious God, the world has changed, and many of us struggle in these difficult and often discouraging times to find the strength to persevere. Help give us the energy, courage, resilience—and the peace—to not only endure, but to always look to you to provide renewed vision and vitality. Amen.
Written by Tim Schellhardt, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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