Wed Sep 14-Light and Joy

Psalm 97:1-12 (CEB)

The Lord rules! Let the earth rejoice!
    Let all the islands celebrate!
Clouds and thick darkness surround God.
    His throne is built on righteousness and justice.
Fire proceeds before him,
    burning up his enemies on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
    the earth sees it and trembles!
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of the whole world!

Heaven has proclaimed God’s righteousness,
    and all nations have seen his glory.
All those who worship images,
    those who are proud of idols,
    are put to shame.
    All gods bow down to the Lord!
Zion has heard and celebrates,
    the towns of Judah rejoice,
    because of your acts of justice, Lord,
    because you, Lord, are the Most High
        over all the earth,
    because you are so superior to all other gods.

10 Those of you who love the Lord, hate evil!
    God guards the lives of his faithful ones,
    delivering them from the power of the wicked.
11 Light is planted like seed for the righteous person;
    joy too for those whose heart is right.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, righteous ones!
    Give thanks to his holy name!


This text can both bring us good and bad feelings. Rejoicing the Lord?! Yes! The Lord is Righteous?! Say it again! But also these words against those who turn from the Lord? They can be hard to read.

Many Psalms sound like this, but I think the part of this particular Psalm that stands out to me is verse 11:

Light is planted like seed for the righteous person;
    joy too for those whose heart is right.

I like this image of God as the gardener or farmer: boots on, dirt under the fingernails, with a packet of seeds labeled “light” and “joy”. I can imagine God carefully cultivating the best conditions for the seed to grow: bringing in nutrient-filled soil, making sure there’s enough sunlight, watching the weather to see if watering if needed. I wonder if God would till the ground or not?

I also like this idea of us, in our hope to follow God’s guidance and to be closer to God, looking for these seedlings to sprout. I like this idea of our quest to live God’s goodness to be a quest for light and joy. We could use a little more of that.

by Rachel Callender

For Pondering & Prayer

Think about God as a gardener – what does that image look like for you? What is God planting in your life?

Prayer: Creator God, You care for the land, planting seeds to bring us spiritual nourishment. May we find Your bountiful harvest today. Amen.

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