Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection Year B, Proper 15 Psalm

Psalm 147
1 Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God! * how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!

2 The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; * he gathers the exiles of Israel.

3 He heals the brokenhearted * and binds up their wounds.

4 He counts the number of the stars * and calls them all by their names.

5 Great is our LORD and mighty in power; * there is no limit to his wisdom.

6 The LORD lifts up the lowly, * but casts the wicked to the ground.

7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; * make music to our God upon the harp.

8 He covers the heavens with clouds * and prepares rain for the earth;

9 He makes grass to grow upon the mountains * and green plants to serve mankind.

10 He provides food for flocks and herds * and for the young ravens when they cry.

11 He is not impressed by the might of a horse; * he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;

12 But the LORD has pleasure in those who fear him, * in those who await his gracious favor.

13 Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; * praise your God, O Zion;

14 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; * he has blessed your children within you.

15 He has established peace on your borders; * he satisfies you with the finest wheat.

16 He sends out his command to the earth, * and his word runs very swiftly.

17 He gives snow like wool; * he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

18 He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; * who can stand against his cold?

19 He sends forth his word and melts them; * he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.

20 He declares his word to Jacob, * his statutes and his judgments to Israel.

21 He has not done so to any other nation; * to them he has not revealed his judgments. Hallelujah!

Reflection on Psalm 147 by the Rev Dcn Helen Hanten

Psalm 147 has many images of as Creator, caring for and loving the creation. "He counts the number of stars and calls them by name." Of course! God is Truth, and there is a truth, unknown to us, of the number of stars. The phrase "God only knows" applies to many things unknowable to us. "God covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth." How basic water is to life on earth and how marvelously made is the water cycle of evaporation, transpiration, movement of clouds by winds or air currents, and again, rain falling on the earth. "God makes grass to grow on the mountain and green plants to serve humankind." For everything alive their is a way for it to make its food, or find something to eat for its food, in a whole web of interdependence. "Food for flocks and herds and young ravens," all provided in the continuous recycle of elements and transfer of energy. "How good it is to sing praises to our God! How pleasant to honor God with our praises!" The earth is a paradise for the web of life to flourish. How arrogant it is to waste or spoil gifts of creation!

Copyright Statement

To Reflections on other Readings for this Sunday:
Old Testament Proverbs 9:1-6
not available
Psalm 147 or 34:9-14
this page
New Testament Ephesians 5:15-20
Gospel John 6:53-59

Rev Dcn Helen Hanten is a deacon emeritus of St. Andrew's by the Lake Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN. She originally wrote this reflection in 2003. Helen and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Rev Dcn Helen Hanten or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 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 website.


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