blessing, experience of God, give thanks, grateful, presence, Psalm 138, share, strength, The Sophia Center for Spirituality
In an alternate translation of Psalm 138, the psalmist speaks to me this morning with a powerful message of God’s presence in the universe and in my life. By it I am reminded that we are all invited to share the experience of God and to encourage one another in that sharing. Listen and see if you are similarly drawn in by the mandate in this song of praise and challenge.
With my whole being I give you thanks, with grateful heart I bow before you, with all of heaven’s mighty hosts I sing this song to praise you. Your presence is my temple ground, and there I lift my voice and speak your name, in testimony to a love and truth exceeded only by your promises. For when I spoke your sacred name, your word and answer swiftly came as source of all the strength I know within. O peoples of this earth, know this, you too can hear this voice and speak the name. You too can know the music of this song revealing all God’s beauty in fullest splendor. For though our God is high beyond this earth, as swift as wind God stoops to hold the lowly close, the proud afar. And even though the path of life leads into deepest gloom, O God, your presence never leaves but holds and saves when foes appear upon the earth. And at the end of life your presence stands as witness to a plan that’s never thwarted. Your love endures and greets us even at the gates of death. (Ancient Songs Sung Anew, p. 354)
The commentary that follows this psalm translation suggests that we are all invited to share in the experience of God and asks the following questions:
- How comfortable are you about sharing your experience of God and encouraging others in theirs?
- Would this be a useful thing to do?
I am more and more convinced that the kind of sharing called for here can be a great blessing to us all. I challenge all of us to invite the possibility of such exchange into our lives.