Psalm 147:12-20 (NRSV)
Verse 12Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
Verse 13For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you.
Verse 14He grants peace within your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat.
Verse 15He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.
Verse 16He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes.
Verse 17He hurls down hail like crumbs- who can stand before his cold?
Verse 18He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
Verse 19He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
Verse 20He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord!
God’s word is a powerful verb. There is an adage: Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. “Not so!” says the psalmist. God speaks and weather happens—snow, frost, and hail. God’s word also creates heat and causes the winds to blow and the waters to flow. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, who may have just had a White Christmas, the promise of thawing and melting is a good reminder that even a deep freeze will not last forever.
But our hope is in the powerful, creating word of God. This psalm reminds us of Genesis chapter one, where God speaks and creation happens. God’s word is not a book, or a sermon, God’s word is a verb acting and influencing our lives. The Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) seeks to capture this in its mission motto: “God’s Work Our Hands”. What our hands are doing is putting God’s word into action.
Dear God of action, fill us with your spirit, so that our words and actions will help to accomplish your work in this world. Guide us today and always through your son, Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.