... September 29

Readings for September 27

Psalm 19:7-14Numbers 11:4-29James 5:13-20 Mark 9:38-50

Psalm 19 has it all. It begins as a Psalm of praise and takes a turn to a wisdom psalm. In some places, its phrasing reads like the book of Proverbs. It concludes with a phrase you may recognize. It is a prayer often prayed before the teaching time on Saturday nights:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.

The portion that is praise Psalm lauds the creation. It sings of God’s glory as made manifest throughout the universe in the stars and the night sky.

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
    and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
    their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.

The Psalmist goes so far as to compare the sunrise to a happy groom leaving his honeymoon suite the morning after his wedding. It is a little irreverent but makes the point.

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
    and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

Much in life is made for our quick consumption. As I write this, I am copying and pasting passages from Biblegateway. It takes seconds. I don’t have to type the words. I don’t even have to look them up in a regular Bible. One might assume that in the 21st century the good life is not necessarily the deep life.

All Scripture demands deep reading. All Scripture deserves our attention. When we give it the attention it demands and deserves we may recognize a note of praise, a note of wisdom, a note of confession, and a young newlywed running from his chuppah.

Here is the Collect for this week, (Proper 21).

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Paul Hill