Jenny's Psalm Reflections: 66 verse 1-2

Singing bird on a tree branch

Today’s verse is Psalm 66 VERSE 1-2

 "Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise.”

Background:

Psalm 66 is entitled “Praise for God’s Goodness to Israel.” It is the second in a group of four Psalms which are truly hymns of thanksgiving. The psalm is divided into two parts: in verses 1-12 the community praises God and invites the whole world to join in praise; in verses 13–20, "an individual from the rescued community fulfils a vow to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving"

Knowing that God is with us at all times, and that Jesus Christ died on the cross, and that through this we might be saved, is a powerful life-giving message. It is one of the main reasons I went into ministry as although people can live full lives without God, experiencing God at the core of our being places a different value on our life, on the lives of others and the total experience of life in its full glory. If you have no faith, can you be fully happy? We certainly live within our man-made boundaries and perhaps the answer to that question lies in the famous passage from St. Augustine’s confession which states that “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Many people think they are happy but there is a constant searching in our souls for the meaning of life and a “spirituality” that most people seem to crave. That, I suppose, is what I call God and find rest in, and I hope other people can find that through my ministry. 

Wherever we find ourselves at the moment, in good times or in difficult, try and find joy in your life. For several reasons it is good to maintain a joyful outlook even when it’s difficult. This is because joy

  • Directs our focus outside and beyond ourselves
  • Lifts our hearts so that we can see the joys and sorrows of other people
  • Bonds us more closely to our human community
  • Generates new inspiration and ideas
  • Restores balance and refreshes our inner vision
  • Shows us where God is active in our lives and where God is leading us
  • Releases new energy in us

(Adapted from Ignatian Spiritually)

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 verses 1-2 to yourself and intersperse this with periods of looking at the Bible in front of you. Does having a faith bring you joy and how can you demonstrate that to others? Wait to see what thoughts emerge. 

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:

Generous God, we thank you for your goodness, help us to constantly appreciate the good things around us, reach out to others, and continue to praise you in difficult times. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Posted on January 27th 2022

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