Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection Year B, Proper 21, Psalm

Psalm 19:1-6
The heavens declare the glory of God, * and the firmament shows his handiwork.

One day tells its tale to another, * and one night imparts knowledge to another.

Although they have no words or language, * and their voices are not heard,

Their sound has gone out into all lands, * and their message to the ends of the world.

In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun; * it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber; it rejoices like a champion to run its course.

It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens and runs about to the end of it again; * nothing is hidden from its burning heat.

Reflection on Psalm 19:1-6 by the Rev Dcn Helen Hanten

This psalm which begins, "The heavens declare the glory of God...." reminds us of one way that God's handiwork in the creation is seen in regular and glorious patterns. As the sun rises and traverses its path through the sky and sets again, "one day tells its tale to another, and one night imparts knowledge to another." Despite all the uncertainties and sometimes enexpected tragedies of daily living, the rising and setting of the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars are part of the rhythm of the cosmic order that we can rely on, and by those rhythms the earth, "this fragile earth, our island home" is blessed. The psalm writer even has the sun itself rejoicing!

Copyright Statement

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 2000. 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

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