Psalm 104:24-34, 35b (NRSV)
Verse 24O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Verse 25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.
Verse 26There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
Verse 27These all look to you to give them their food in due season;
Verse 28when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
Verse 29When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
Verse 30When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.
Verse 31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works-
Verse 32who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.
Verse 33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
Verse 34May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.
Verse 35Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!
A woman recently attended worship in person for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic and I asked her what she thought. She told me that she would continue to worship from home until we could sing together in person. At home she could sing to the LORD with gusto and praise. The “new” church that rises out of this pandemic will face many challenges. Many of us long for the day when we can all freely sing without fear that the very words of praise may be spreading droplets of disease that could take away breath and cause another to die and return to the dust.
What this time has provided us is the peace to receive worship in places other than a church building. Our own homes have become sanctuaries. Altars have been assembled. Worship spaces have been set apart and made holy. Sing for joy that God is present wherever we are.
Blessed LORD, tend to this beloved creation that sings your praises with care and wisdom. Grant us peace to worship you in all the places you’ve set aside that are holy. Amen.