Episcopal Church in Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission
Lectionary Reflection
Year A, Easter 7, Psalm 68

Psalm 68:1-20
 
Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; *
     let those who hate him flee before him. 
Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *
     as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at
     the presence of God. 
But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *
     let them also be merry and joyful. 
Sing to God, sing praises to his Name;
     exalt him who rides upon the heavens; *
     YAHWEH is his Name, rejoice before him! 
Father of orphans, defender of widows, *
     God in his holy habitation! 
God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; *
     but the rebels shall live in dry places. 
O God, when you went forth before your people, *
     when you marched through the wilderness, 
The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain,
     at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *
     at the presence of God, the God of Israel. 
You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *
     you refreshed the land when it was weary. 
Your people found their home in it; *
     in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor. 
The Lord gave the word; *
     great was the company of women who bore the tidings: 
"Kings with their armies are fleeing away; *
     the women at home are dividing the spoils." 
Though you lingered among the sheepfolds, *
     you shall be like a dove whose wings are covered with silver,
     whose feathers are like green gold. 
When the Almighty scattered kings, *
     it was like snow falling in Zalmon. 
O mighty mountain, O hill of Bashan! *
     O rugged mountain, O hill of Bashan! 
Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountain,
     at the hill which God chose for his resting place? *
     truly, the LORD will dwell there for ever. 
The chariots of God are twenty thousand,
     even thousands of thousands; *
     the Lord comes in holiness from Sinai. 
You have gone up on high and led captivity captive;
     you have received gifts even from your enemies, *
     that the LORD God might dwell among them. 
Blessed be the Lord day by day, *
     the God of our salvation, who bears our burdens. 
He is our God, the God of our salvation; *
     God is the LORD, by whom we escape death. 

Reflection on Psalm 68:1-20
by John Gibbs, Ph D

“Becoming People Who Are Safe for the World” (Witnessing to God’s Rule in the World)

“Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation, God gives the desolate a home to live in” (vv. 5-6). “…In your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy” (v. 10). The God of Israel is the God of social justice.

The faith of God’s People performs social justice, for it takes its character from the God whom it worships. In our time that performance requires attending to the environment where “rain” (vv. 8-9) can be affected by what humanity does and does not do.

Climate change is a matter of justice, namely: “Justice for future generations who will inherit an unstable climate and potentially catastrophic rises in sea level, migration of tropical diseases, and disrupted agricultural production,” as the Interfaith Climate Change Network asserts.


To Reflections on other Readings for this Sunday:
Old Testament
Ezekiel 39:21-29
 
Psalm 68 or
Psalm  47
 this page
New Testament
1 Peter 4:12-19 or 
Acts 1:(1-7)8-14
 
Gospel
John 17:1-11
To all four Reflections for this Sunday on one page.

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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