What a powerful example of poetic praise for God’s glory! In the opening lines of this hymn, the psalmist uses a lot of big, hyperbolic language to declare and describe God’s glory.
In the Common English Bible translation of this text, verse two reads, “One day gushes news to the next.” The day gushes. Gushes! When one thinks of typical Lenten practices, gushing rarely comes to mind. One might think of hunger pangs, solemn prayers, and lots of silence. These things do not gush. Instead, they encourage more silence: the silence of the journey to the cross, the silence of darkness and despair that veils the news of the morning. That is the point! While we may be in constant reflection, the glory of God’s righteousness expressed by heaven’s proclamation is a cacophony of expression. This gushing, however, is only perceivable for those who are listening.
Verse three continues, “ . . . their voices can’t be heard, but their sound extends throughout the world.” Again, this is big language. Sound extends throughout the world, reaching to the ends of the earth. Even though no one can recognize the words, the chorus ranges across the entire globe. Finally, in verse five, we read, “The sun . . . thrills at running its course.” That big, exploding ball of fire and gas receives a personality that “thrills” as it carries out its purpose.
For what purpose does news gush, sound extend throughout the world, and the sun thrill to rise and fall? For the glory of proclaiming each day as a blessing for those in God’s creation, of course! So as we silence our hearts and breathe solemn prayers, may our spirits proclaim God’s glory in big language!
Abundant God, we pray that our words and actions speak to the greatness and boldly proclaim how wonderful you are. Amen.
As we continue in the season of Lent, we remember another important chapter in salvation history. Just as God established covenants with Noah and Abraham and their descendants, so did God renew the relationship with the Israelites by giving them the law. Obedience to the law was not the means of earning God’s love, but a response of love by the people to the love God had already shown them. The psalmist understands that God’s law creates a cause for rejoicing, for it is more valuable than gold. Both Paul and John address situations in which some had distorted the worship of God. Either they considered themselves too good for the gospel (1 Corinthians), or they had violated the covenant by altering proper worship for the sake of profit (John).
Read Exodus 20:1-17. How do you keep God as the central focus of your life? What draws you away from that focus?
Read Psalm 19. In what ways do you experience God’s laws as “sweeter . . . than honey”? When do you find yourself trying to resist God’s laws?
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. What does it mean to you that “God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom”?
Read John 2:13-22. How do you respond to Jesus’ anger and actions in this reading? Do his actions fit with the way you generally picture Jesus?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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