Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Psalm 111


Pentecost +12 - Year B


Note how active this Psalm is. It is our legacy to identify with such energy.

Comparing and reflecting on this Psalm in The New Revised Version with The Message word by word and verse by verse is a great help in cutting through religious language (except for verse 9).


1 Praise the Lord! 
   I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, 
   in the company of the upright, in the congregation.   [NRSV]
1 Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I've got— 
   Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation.   [MSG]

2 Great are the works of the Lord, 
   studied by all who delight in them.
2 God's works are so great, worth 
   A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment! 

3 Full of honor and majesty is his work, 
   and his righteousness endures forever.
3 Splendor and beauty mark his craft; 
   His generosity never gives out. 

4 He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; 
   the Lord is gracious and merciful.
4 His miracles are his memorial— 
   This God of Grace, this God of Love.

5 He provides food for those who fear him; 
   he is ever mindful of his covenant.
5 He gave food to those who fear him, 
   He remembered to keep his ancient promise. 

6 He has shown his people the power of his works, 
   in giving them the heritage of the nations.
6 He proved to his people that he could do what he said: 
   Hand them the nations on a platter—a gift! 

7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; 
    all his precepts are trustworthy.
7 He manufactures truth and justice; 
   All his products are guaranteed to last— 

8 They are established forever and ever, 
   to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
8 Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof. 
   All that he makes and does is honest and true:

9 He sent redemption to his people; 
   he has commanded his covenant forever. 
   Holy and awesome is his name.
9 He paid the ransom for his people, 
   He ordered his Covenant kept forever. 
   He's so personal and holy, worthy of our respect.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; 
     all those who practice it have a good understanding. 
     His praise endures forever.
10 The good life begins in the fear of God— 
     Do that and you'll know the blessing of God. 
     His Hallelujah lasts forever!

In today’s political climate imagine what it would take to “manufacture truth and justice” and wouldn’t it be worth what it took to participate in such?

Does beauty mark your craft, your vocation? It will be one excellent measure of how you are doing on journey toward truth and justice. Without it we are probably dealing with truthiness and faux-fairness.

To add one more stimulant, here is the way Jim Taylor puts it after seeing a NASA photograph of earth from space.

1 The bright blue planet spins in the vast darkness of space;
   let all who live on earth rejoice.
2 Only on this one tiny orb do we know life exists;
   let all who live on earth give thanks.
3 The vision takes our breath away;
   let all who live on earth open their eyes.
4 This fragile ball bursting with life is a work of art;
   let all who live on earth recognize God's goodness.
5 Foxes and fieldmice, humans and whales, eagles and ants--
   all are woven together in a tapestry of relationships;
   let all who live on earth recognize this reality.
6 And God has delegated responsibility to us;
   let all who live on earth be mindful.
7 We must exercise care not to upset the delicate equilibrium of shared life;
   let all who live on earth understand their responsibility.
8 A tapestry cannot be reduced to a single thread;
   let all who live on earth accept their responsibility.
9 This egg floating in the dark womb of the universe is like God's own embryo;
   let all who live on earth treat it as holy.
10 We share an awesome and terrible responsibility;
     may God live forever.

After reflecting on this psalm through your experience, how would you phrase it?

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