Psalm 147:1-11, 20c (NRSV)
Verse 1Praise the Lord! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
Verse 2The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
Verse 3He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.
Verse 4He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.
Verse 5Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
Verse 6The Lord lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground.
Verse 7Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre.
Verse 8He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills.
Verse 9He gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry.
Verse 10His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
Verse 11but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Verse 20He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord!
Luther called the Psalms “a little Bible.” Bonhoeffer referred to the Psalms as “the prayer book of the Bible.” Bonhoeffer writes, “[Jesus] wants to pray with us and to have us pray with him, so that we may be confident and glad that God hears us.” In prayer, God listens to us and we listen to God. Prayer is a tick-tock. Psalm 147 is a rising crescendo, an exclamation point of praise for what God has done and continues doing! Our praise of gratitude cannot be stifled?! In the midst of COVID-19 and all its ramifications, we are reminded of God’s loving commitment. Regardless of death and isolation, God doesn’t quit on us! God keeps coming at us, creating life, stirring hope, like a hurricane of grace! Here is what I have done and what I promise to sustain! This is God’s prayer for us so we can set our face like flint and pray “YES!” to God, yielding faith and courage to press on!
Holy God, thank you for your creative action! May your actions inspire us to create in our spaces that which is pleasing to you. Amen.