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atubaPsalm 67 may be considered, says one commentary, “an international hymn of praise because it calls all nations and peoples of the earth to enter into the worship of God…” In speaking of the Psalms as they appear in the Hebrew Scriptures, this commentary continues: “In many of the Psalms there is a ‘we’ versus ‘they’ mentality. This sentiment has been overcome in this Psalm, and thus speaks, perhaps, of an unusual development in the religious ideals of the Hebrew people. They have moved from a narrow conception of the divine to one that is shared by all peoples of the earth…Our task as contemporary creatures is not simply to pray for ourselves, or narrowly for those around us who are dear to us, but to give voice for the whole earth…Imagine yourself as creation’s voice, as an instrument through which those without a voice can enter with praise the presence of God…There is often a wide gap between the vision of beauty held out for the world and the experience of pain and ugliness we find in it. Those who pray hold these two regions together, and will not let them fall apart.”

I was heartened by these words and so would like to suggest that each of us choose our favorite music-making instrument, visualize ourselves at our place in the great orchestra of the nations and play – pray – (singing?) this version of Psalm 67 (aloud!) for the reconciliation of the whole world. Ready? Begin:

O God, have mercy upon us and bless us with the light streaming from your face. And so that here on earth we know and walk in your ways, restore us back to health again. May every person, every creature become an instrument of praise to you and may you be the song that makes us glad and every nation sings with joy, for your pure justice reigns and rules, guiding all with equal hand. May every creature, every person, then, be an instrument of praise, and earth itself abound with a fullness yet unknown, as you alone become “our God” for everyone. Your blessings fill us full, and cover us and earth with awe from edge to edge. (translation and commentary by Lynn Bauman)