Psalm 93 (NRSV)
Verse 1The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength. He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
Verse 2your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.
Verse 3The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.
Verse 4More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the Lord!
Verse 5Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.
Years ago, an old priest was explaining to me the power of the rosary. He said, “We are physical people, so we need physical things to connect us up with God.” That simple fact is what is behind the sacraments. Wine, wafers, and water are physical things to connect us with God, but as Luther reminds us in the Small Catechism, it is God’s Word of promise that stands behind these elements that gives them their power, not the elements themselves. The “dark side” of anything physical is that it can become an idol. This was a constant temptation for Israel in matters such as the temple, the ark of the covenant, the king, Mt Zion, and Jerusalem. They could easily became what the people trusted in, rather than the means to connect them with the real power, God their king. That is the reminder of Psalm 93 to all of us: may whatever physical things we have, be not ends in themselves, but things which assist us in making connections to God.
O God, you know the tensions we live with as human beings, because of your experience as Jesus of Nazareth. Have mercy on us and help us. Amen.