Songs of Joy (07-10-20)
Bible Reading: Psalm 65:1, 8-13
Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.
Harvest is traditionally a time of thanksgiving for God’s provision. It was very much part of the worship of the Old Testament as Israel celebrated three harvest festivals, each thanking God for different stages of the harvest. For them God's provision and their wellbeing were closely linked.
For us today, and probably since the industrial revolution when the proportion of people working on the land began to fall, the link between God’s provision and our wellbeing is less clear. Because of this, we can easily forget our own dependence on God, and in so doing forget to come to him with praise and thanksgiving.
Psalms like Psalm 67, with its beautiful words and glorious imagery, are great in their ability to take our eyes off all the problems associated with life and Covid, and to focus our eyes, in worship, on the eternal love and faithfulness of God.
Re-read the words from the psalm.
Which are the verses that resonate with you, which are the words that lift your spirit?
Read them over again and, in the absence of the ability to worship God with singing in church, let the words lift your spirit into God's presence in awe and wonder.
The psalmist says, ‘where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy’. Allow God to call from you songs of joy for his goodness, his love, and his provision and for all of the many blessings that you have received over the last few days, weeks, months, and throughout your life.
Lord God, as we cope each day with the effects of Covid,
remind us that our problems are transient,
and that your blessings are eternal.
May you crown this year with your bounty.