Scripture: Psalm 65
Key verses: (12-13) The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
Reflection: I grew up “in the country” a few miles outside of a city. From our home, you couldn’t see another house. But you could see two horses that ran in a pasture, pine trees that whistled in the wind, and a huge garden that yielded vegetables for months. I loved walking outside, to enjoy the smell of honeysuckle, to listen to the gurgling of the creek, to dig my hands into the mud to hunt for salamanders.
Today’s psalm celebrates God’s creation. We now know that nature can bring healing to our minds and our spirits. Apparently even small things make a difference – noticing a dandelion poking up through a crack in the sidewalk, listening to a bird that sits outside your window, feeling the breeze on your face as you walk from your car into the store. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-new-resilience/201801/why-connecting-nature-elevates-your-mental-health)
The writer of the psalm knew that nature points us to the Creator. Nature sings of God’s glory. One of my favorite poets, Wendell Berry, writes in “The Peace of Wild Things”:
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free
Today take an opportunity to listen to the birds, to enjoy the taste of some fresh fruit, to look at the stars. Rest in the grace of the world. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: This is my Father’s world, And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my father’s world, I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas his hand the wonders wrought. Amen.
(“This Is My Father’s World”, hymn words by Maltbie Babcock)
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].