Psalm 67 refelction
Bec Hill reflects on Psalm 67
Today’s psalm echoes Numbers 6.24-26, the blessing that God commands the Levites to use when blessing his people:
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
This has been a significant passage for lots of people over recent months. You may have heard the song that is also based on this passage; if not, I highly recommend a YouTube search for The UK Blessing.
This psalm speaks to the depth of meaning found in this blessing. As the Lord does bless us - his people - and turn his face towards us, there is a wider effect in the world. As we encounter God in this blessing, the world sees his goodness to us and his salvation becomes known in the world. There’s a snowball effect as people see God and cant help but praise him and the world becomes more like it was created to be. There is justice as the Lord guides rulers and sets the world right. This reminds me of our diocesan strapline: more people knowing Jesus, more justice in the world. Its true: the more we know Jesus and our lives become aligned with his will, the more we become aware of injustice and we work to see the world become what it was made to be. As we see justice, we praise God and more and more people join the song.
At this time, we so desperately need Justice in the world; we need God to guide our leaders and to turn his face toward us. We long for the world to be healed of all of the many injustices we see around us. So today we join in the prayer for the Lord to be gracious to us, to bless us and, in doing so, to make himself known in the world.
In his book How to Pray, Pete Greig recounts the story of an encounter with a Franciscan priest in the early days of the 24-7 prayer movement. He recalls being challenged as to how they would know when they’d prayed enough, and being quite baffled by the question since they were praying round the clock. The priest went on to explain to him that if he saw his time in the prayer room as time off - time in God’s presence becoming aware of his will - then his whole day would become a prayer, as he acted on his awareness of God at work in the world.*
How can we make our time of prayer and study today a time of becoming aware of God’s priorities, so that our whole lives will become a prayer for justice and a song of praise?
* Pete Greig, How to Pray, A simple guide for normal people. P120-122.
Psalms Summer Reading Challenge
Join Archdeacon Simon in this year’s Summer Challenge reading the book of Psalms together. Sign up to this course and you will receive weekly emails encouraging you in your reading. The Psalms are the hymnbook and the prayerbook of the Temple, and of the Church. In these 150 songs the Psalmist explores the whole range of human experience, with all its highs and lows, of human life lived in the presence of God, and sometimes the experience of the apparent absence of God too. Find out more about the challenge and how you can get involved.Course 19 PartsTotal current bookmarks 13