Psalm 29 (NRSV)
1Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.
3The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
4The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
10The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
As a child, our family would make visits to relatives in the Midwest. I will not easily forget the thunderstorms; we didn’t have thunder like that in California. The peels would shake the whole house, and with it, my soul. I was thoroughly captivated.
When the psalmist speaks about the voice of God breaking cedar trees and flashing forth flames of fire, it reminds me of those Midwest thunderstorms.
Perhaps the psalmist is recounting such storms that passed through Judea. But perhaps the psalmist is speaking of the voice of God which continues to thunder forth, not tearing through forests, but which breaks into our carefully protected, sheltered selves, rattling our existential securities, and awakening us to the majesty of God. Such a voice may be heard, not in the clamor of a storm, but in the quiet of our minds.
And it is enough to bless us with peace.
Mighty God, awaken us to your power and majesty by breaking into our lives and revealing your peace. Amen.