Jenny's Psalm Reflections: 65 verse 13

Today’s verse is Psalm 65 VERSE 13

 "The meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy"

Background:

Psalm 65 is entitled “Thanksgiving for Earth’s Bounty.” It is the first in a group of four Psalms which are truly hymns of thanksgiving, in contrast to the preceding psalms which were laments. It begins in the style of a prayer, transitions to a description of God, and concludes with praise to God. The Jerusalem Bible suggests that is was set “after a good year with plentiful rain.”

It is a wonderful Psalm with beautiful poetic language. It certainly brings to mind the Harvest Festival with the bounty of the earth on full display. Perhaps better suited to reading in the Autumn, it nevertheless does the heart good, especially at this time of the year, to remember that winter is required for the ground to recover and the growth of Spring to arrive. It’s on its way!

This is, of course, an idealised picture but it points to God’s ultimate will for the created world and an ideal world towards which we should strive now. God’s purpose is that the whole creation, including humans, should flourish. It leads to reflect more deeply on how there is an urgent call to work for the just distribution of natural and human resources in the face of natural disruption and human suffering. The gross inequalities of our world call us to respond in a manner that reflects God’s love and justice.

Psalm 65 calls out to all of us to unite in praise for God’s saving love, power and generosity towards the whole earth community. Priest and poet G.K. Chesterton once said “There is but one sin, to call a green leaf grey.” Let us rejoice in the world around us and God’s abundant love for us today!

Meditation

1. FIND A QUIET PLACE. 

Make sure that you are in a quiet place. Place a plant, leaf or flower in front of you. Sit comfortably but alert – feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair. Start your reflection with hands cupped open ready to be open to God’s presence.

2. Focus on your breathing.

Pay attention to in-breaths and out-breaths. You may think of breathing in God’s life and peace and breathing out any tension.

3. Be aware of your body.

Let your aches and pains be there. Rest your hands in your lap; you don’t need to be doing anything with them now. Rest your feet on the floor; you don’t need to go anywhere. Shrug your shoulders, ease your neck. Take time to become still and repeat verse 13 to yourself and intersperse this with periods of feeling or looking at the plant life in front of you. Empty your head and wait to see what emerges.

4. Listen to God

In the stillness listen to what God might be saying to you. Finish with the prayer below.

5. Finish with this prayer:

Life-giving Lord, fill us with the wonder and awe of your creation. Satisfy us with your goodness, silence the cries of hunger and need. O Lord, open our lips, and let our mouths declare your praise. Amen

Posted on January 20th 2022

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