Psalm 67 (NRSV)
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Verse 1May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
Verse 2that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.
Verse 3Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Verse 4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Verse 5Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Verse 6The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.
Verse 7May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.
In rural communities all over the world harvest of crops is a great happening, often followed by a festival. For Israel and Judah it was a great religious event. Our Puritan ancestors continued this practice with their thanksgiving. Today we Americans echo this at Thanksgiving as we celebrate God’s generosity.
This psalm’s harvest context is expressed in verse six: “The earth has yielded its increase…” It is a harvest celebration of God’s generosity in providing good crops. As they celebrate, the people see God being good to them. But they also see God being good to their community, their nation, and ultimately to all people on earth.
Judah and Israel celebrated God being good and generous in providing food and produce. Where do we see God being good? Where in life do we see the goodness of God: in baptism, in communion, in gospel proclamation, in the diversity of faces, in grandeur of nature? What would you add to the list?
My amazing Lord, you are good, kind and generous. We have a multitude of reasons to praise and thank you; but now we want to thank you for your kindness to the just and the unjust and to us when we are right and even when we are unjust. Amen.