Silence, a gift of God

14 Feb
Psalm 65 is perfect for the Lenten season.  Lent is a wonderful time to put some extra ‘silence’ in your life.   I think sometimes we are afraid of what we will hear in the silence.  Yet, the gift of a quiet heart and mind and soul is a lovely way to praise God.  Have you had time for silence lately?

1-2 Silence is praise to you,
Zion-dwelling God,
And also obedience.
You hear the prayer in it all.

These next verses point us towards another gift in Lent – forgiveness and reconciliation.  The writer points to the reality of our lives; we carry around a load of guilt and regrets and we arrive at God’s doorstep.  Actually, it is the gift of our faith that we can arrive on God’s doorstep with all that weighs down our lives.  The writer proclaims, “but you get rid of them once and for all.”  Yea.  This is the great good news of our faith.  We are forgiven and made whole again by the God who has created us.  This great grace leads us to praise.

Please spend some time to read Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the names of God.

2-8 We all arrive at your doorstep sooner
or later, loaded with guilt,
Our sins too much for us—
but you get rid of them once and for all.
Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest
at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things
in your house, your heavenly manse.
All your salvation wonders
are on display in your trophy room.
Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer,
Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser,
Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash,
of mobs in noisy riot-
Far and wide they’ll come to a stop,
they’ll stare in awe, in wonder.
Dawn and dusk take turns
calling, “Come and worship.”

I love this imagine of “Dawn and dusk take turns calling, ‘come and worship.'”  Just think about every sunrise and sunset being a command to praise God.  It seems the natural thing to do in response to the healing God brings into our lives.  The writer describes all the ways the earth sings God praises.  I pray through the gift of silence and forgiveness you can keep up with the earth in finding ways to praise God.

9-13 Oh, visit the earth,
ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers,
fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden.
Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields,
soak the dirt clods
With rainfall as harrow and rake
bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor,
scatter rose petals down your paths,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals.
Set the hills to dancing,
Dress the canyon walls with live sheep,
a drape of flax across the valleys.
Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
Oh, oh, let them sing!

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One Response to “Silence, a gift of God”

  1. Phyllis Terwilliger February 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Mary,

    I like the verses 9-13, such a wonderful tribute to God’s creation. When I was in Manhattan on Valentine’s Day one store in SoHo had rose petals strewn in the doorway and entrance. It was a wonderful welcome and for some strange reason you felt special walking on those petals beneath your feet.

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