Week of: October 4, 2020
Scripture: Psalm 19
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
(Psalm 19:1, NRSV)
The first six verses of Psalm 19 state that the heavenly bodies are proof that a powerful, creative God exists. The heavens are God's unfailing evidence that God's truth exists always – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The first verse points out the two areas where God has chosen to reveal God's self. "The heavens" refer to what appears in the sky about "the firmament," meaning the expanse of God's creation.
As worship leaders, we know well the beloved hymn, "How Great Thou Art" (#77, United Methodist Hymnal). Verse 1, in particular, speaks well to this truth.
The writer of this hymn (which was first a poem), Carl G. Boberg, was unforgettably inspired, after walking home from church services near Kronobäck, Sweden, and listening to the calm melodies of church bells ringing. A sudden, violent storm ("rolling thunder") got Boberg's attention, and then just as suddenly as it had made its appearance, it subsided to a peaceful calm which Boberg observed over Mönsterås Bay.
In the storm and darkness that is our world right now, we should, with faith, look forward to the peaceful calm that God alone will provide. We just need to be focused on God's love and magnificent creation, and when doubts and fears arise, look to God's handiwork in the heavens and stars for peace. God's presence and protection are always present and will provide comfort to God's children. In response to the wonders of God's creation and promise to us, we worship, singing about "how great Thou art," referring to God's unfathomable greatness. God's law and the work of God's hands are perfect. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: "Only in darkness can you see the stars." Let us all continue to look up to the heavens for our refuge and strength to carry on in God's name.
Dear God, continue to inspire us through your creation in heaven and on earth to live, love, and create in the midst of the storm. Let our souls sing, "my God, how great Thou art," to gain the peace that passes all understanding. In the words of Psalm 19:14, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. Amen.
Director of Music
St. Luke United Methodist Church