Devotional || Psalm 29

By Beth Ferguson, Lay Leader and Member to the Annual Conference.

You, divine beings! Give to the Lord—
    give to the Lord glory and power!
Give to the Lord the glory due his name!
    Bow down to the Lord in holy splendor!

The Lord’s voice is over the waters;
    the glorious God thunders;
        the Lord is over the mighty waters.
The Lord’s voice is strong;
    the Lord’s voice is majestic.
The Lord’s voice breaks cedar trees—
    yes, the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon jump around like a young bull,
    makes Sirion jump around like a young wild ox.
The Lord’s voice unleashes fiery flames;
    the Lord’s voice shakes the wilderness—
        yes, the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The Lord’s voice convulses the oaks,
    strips the forests bare,
        but in his temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the floodwaters;
    the Lord sits enthroned—king forever!

11 Let the Lord give strength to his people!
    Let the Lord bless his people with peace!

Psalm 29, Common English Bible

Psalm 29 speaks to the glory of God. It is the heart of the Psalms and the gospel. We believe in the greatness of God. In the Lord’s prayer we pray, “for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever”. The Psalm reminds us that God is in charge, not humans. As humans we want to believe that we are in control of our lives. We want to believe that we are providing for ourselves. The self-made man is an ideal for many. The Psalm reminds us that though we may have had success in our lives, that God had a hand in it. God gives us gifts of knowledge and science to help us understand what God has created.

It is easy for me to say, I had a great career. I was respected throughout my work life. I made a difference in the lives of my co-workers and patients. Yet I know that I could not have managed to do my job, without time in worship every week. I was recharged with prayer, scripture, read and interpreted and singing.  I spent time with the scriptures and prayer every morning before work, even though it meant getting up earlier, because I knew that God was by my side and would get me through my day.

I thought that I would work much longer, but then was struck with ALS. I continue to begin each day with prayer and scripture reading, because God provides me with the strength to keep going even as my body fails me, bit by bit. I can enjoy my life and continue with a positive attitude, because I know that God is helping me deal with this. I can pray for a treatment to slow the disease and for a cure, but realistically, I know that isn’t likely. My choice is to just sit around and bemoan my fate, or to trust that God is in charge and will help me along my path; and that in the end, I will be leaving my failing body behind and entering into life eternal with God. I choose the latter.

In this time of COVID-19 which has disrupted all our lives; in this time of severe political division in our nation and the world; in this time of protests and concerns about police actions against African-Americans and against protesters, all of us can choose to live with God’s glory and God’s promises to be with us and to be in control, or we can choose to think we are in control and forget God.

“Shalom – peace, well-being, security – does not begin with out efforts, but with our openness to God’s claim upon us and the ways God has gifted us.” (From the New Interpreter’s Bible)

Prayer from the Extended Cabinet

By Rev. Erica Robinson-Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop/Director of Connectional Ministries

God, you made everything … beautiful and good
We praise you today for creating 
    day and night
    the earth, sky, and seas
    the sun, moon, and stars
    the plants and animals of every kind
God, you made everything … beautiful and good
And you invited us into all of that goodness
You created us, your beloved community, in your very own image and likeness
And you called it all good … very good
All of your creation is beautiful and good

Forgive us for trying to create you in our image and likeness…
For it is the other way around
We can look into a mirror and see only part of you
To fully embrace the beauty and goodness that you are and that you created,
We shall recognize the fullness of your creation
And only when we truly see all that you have made and called good
Will we see the fullness of who you are.

Amen

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