Friday, November 22, 2013

Blowin' in the Wind: Psalm 65 -- Thanksgiving for Earth's Bounty

(Blowin’ in the Wind is a regular feature on my blog highlighting an assortment of nature writings – hymns, songs, prayers, Bible readings, poems or other things – pieces I have not written but that inspire me. I trust they will do the same for you.)

                                   Psalm 65

               1)     What mighty praise, O God,
                              belongs to you.
                       We will fulfill our vows to you,
               2)            for you answer our prayers.
                       All of us must come to you. 
               3)     Though we are overwhelmed by our sins,
                              you forgive them all.
               4)     What joy for those you choose to bring near,
                              those who live in your holy courts.
                       What festivities await us
                              inside your holy temple.

               5)     You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,
                             O God our Savior.
                       You are the hope of everyone on earth,
                             even those who sail on distant seas.
               6)     You formed the mountains by your power
                             and armed yourself with mighty strength.
               7)     You quieted the raging oceans
                             with their pounding waves
                             and silenced the shouting of the nations.
               8)     Those who live at the ends of the earth
                             stand in awe of your wonders.
                        From where the sun rises to where it sets,
                             you inspire shouts of joy.

               9)     You take care of the                            earth and water it,
                       making it rich and                                fertile.
                       The river of God has                            plenty of water;
                       it provides a                                        bountiful harvest 
                       of grain, for you 
                       have ordered it so.
              10)    You drench the                                    plowed ground                                    with rain, melting 
                       the clods and 
                       leveling the ridges.
                       You soften the earth with showers
                             and bless its abundant crops.
              11)    You crown the year with a bountiful harvest;
                             even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
              12)    The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture,
                             and the hillsides blossom with joy.
              13)    The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep,
                             and the valleys are carpeted with grain.
                             They all shout and sing for joy!

As you who read my blog already know, among the things for which I am most grateful is the gift of God’s creation. Gail and I spend a lot of time out there, and it never ceases to enliven our souls. To make matters even better, here in the Denver area the weather has stayed warm into late fall, and though the snow is accumulating a tad today, it will be a while before our hiking forays slow down even a little bit.

Psalm 65 will be a prayer of praise for us this Thanksgiving Day, gratitude to our good God who has indeed crowned the year with bounty. And we’ll try to get outdoors next Thursday as time and celebration allow to meet God in God’s great sanctuary. Join us out there, will you? While there, give thanks with us for what you see -- as the old hymn said -- for the beauty (and bounty!) of the earth, for the glory of the skies, and for the beloved ones around you.

Think outside… no box required!
~~RGM, November 21, 2013

P.S. Hope you’re also planning on getting outside late this month or early next to catch Comet ISON. No one knows how intense it may be as it makes its run by the sun, some say brighter than Venus, though some breaking up in the past few days has the comet boffins concerned. We’ll see. Personally, I will never forget watching Comet Hale-Bopp back in 1997, which at the time I thought might be the only comet I or my kids might ever see in our lifetimes.

P.P.S. Hey, I decided since I’d be hitting about fifty blogposts before long to prepare a subject index for these writings, and put it up just this week as a tab on the masthead above. It might be helpful if you are trying to find something you saw before. Check it out, and let me know how I might make it more user friendly.

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