Episcopal Church in Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission Lectionary Reflection Year A, Easter 5 Year C, Proper 23 (RCL) Psalm

Psalm 66: 1-11
Be joyful in God, all you lands; * sing the glory of his Name; sing the glory of his praise. Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! * because of your great strength your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down before you, * sings to you, sings out your Name." Come now and see the works of God, * how wonderful he is in his doing toward all people. He turned the sea into dry land, so that they went through the water on foot, * and there we rejoiced in him. In his might he rules for ever; his eyes keep watch over the nations; * let no rebel rise up against him. Bless our God, you peoples; * make the voice of his praise to be heard; Who holds our souls in life, * and will not allow our feet to slip. For you, O God, have proved us; * you have tried us just as silver is tried. You brought us into the snare; * you laid heavy burdens upon our backs. You let enemies ride over our heads; we went through fire and water; * but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.

Reflection on Psalm 66: 1-11 by John Gibbs, Ph D

“Becoming People Who Are Safe for the World” (The Way to Greater Works)

A widely read book has been Your God Is Too Small. Psalm 66 is a good antidote for anyone whose concept of God is much “too small.” This hymn calls on “all the earth” (vv. 1, 3) to sing joyful praise to the God of awesome deeds and great power.

This God is sovereign over “the nations” (v. 7), as people of the Exodus know (v. 6). Accordingly, the all-powerful God is at the same time the all-gracious God. (The German language states this in two words that sound very similar: All-mchtige and All-gndige.) Through the vicissitudes of history God has tried and tested us (vv. 10-12), while keeping us “among the living” (v. 9).

Such a cosmic view of God motivates the ecological consciousness of God’s People. They then think not only about power, but also about the uses and goals of that power. For them power in the long run must be put in the service of God’s grace toward all the earth and all nations.

To Reflections on other Readings for this Sunday:
Old Testament Deuteronomy 6:20-25
Psalm 66
this page
New Testament 1 Peter 2:1-10 or Acts 17:1-15
Gospel John 14:1-14

John Gibbs, PhD, a retired theologian, attends Trinity Episcopal Church, Park Rapids, MN. He originally wrote this reflection in 2002. He and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to John Gibbs or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC c/o C. Morello 4451 Lakeside Drive Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the web site.

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