The psalmist almost sounds as if he is in love! What grandeur there is in the lofty images describing the height and depth and width of God’s magnificent creation: the vast stretch of the heavens, fire and flame as messengers, boundaries so broad that neither mountain nor valley can cross.
When we love someone or something, we tend to use superlative terms to describe what is beloved. Clearly the psalmist loves God and is giving due praise and reverence to the Almighty. God is wiser than we are, stronger than we are, much bigger than we are, more creative than we are, far more powerful than we are. God is worthy of our praise and thanks, and it is only right that we should offer it. This is how our relationship to God should be.
The foundation of a contemplative and faithful life is to love God first, then to love all else—including the very people, things, experiences, and practices that we desperately don’t love and don’t even want to love. It is in our power to love even what we don’t presently love.
Just as God gives unstintingly of God’s self to us, we are called in that boundless love to love just as actively and thoroughly as God loves. Having been created in God’s image, we are imbued with something of God’s power and creativity ourselves, and that is not something to be hoarded.
What would your life look like if you were “clothed with honor and majesty” in God’s service? What would your legacy of personal discipleship be if your witness spread as if with “fire and flame”? What would others learn of God from you if your speech and demeanor reflected the love of God that the psalmist showed in his superlative testimony?
O Creator God, how wonderful and manifold are all your works! Draw me so into love with you that I give you my all in service and devotion. Amen.
At this point in Job’s story, God has heard questions from Job and long-winded moralizing by three of Job’s friends, who have pronounced that his misfortunes are divine judgment. Now God has heard enough and declares that God’s perspective is superior to theirs. God has been there from the beginning, as the psalmist reiterates, so no one should claim to know God’s mind or speak on God’s behalf. Even Jesus, the divine Son of God, yields to his heavenly Father. Hebrews tells us that Jesus made appeals to God as the ultimate high priest and thereby became the source of salvation for those who obey him. In the Gospel reading, Jesus specifies that his approaching act of submission and service will allow him to become a ransom for us.
Read Job 38:1-7, 34-41. How do you continue to hold on to belief in God’s goodness when you are in a period of anguish?
Read Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c. How do you share in the creativity of God?
Read Hebrews 5:1-10. In what ways does the understanding of Jesus’ willing vulnerability while serving as high priest affect the way you interact with others?
Read Mark 10:35-45. Where do you see genuine examples of servant leadership in your community?
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