Psalm 84:1-7 (NRSV)
Verse 1How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
Verse 2My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Verse 3Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Verse 4Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah
Verse 5Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
Verse 6As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
Verse 7They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
The power of song is amazing. As an only child of a single mother who was self-taught on piano and guitar, I spent a lot of time in early years singing hymns. One of those hymns, “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” a gospel hymn familiar especially among Methodist and African-American churches, is brought to mind by today’s psalm: “Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young.” (v. 3)
Living my early years in farm country, the sparrows and swallows were familiar friends. Even with no other children around, I had plenty of company—and reminders just as was true for the psalmist of the presence of a living God. There are great words of promise in Psalm 84. They are for us that we might live in a creation full of the signs of God’s love.
Loving Spirit of Hope, today may not be easy and challenges abound. Remind me when I forget that you are ever present and care for all living things. May we walk in your blessing and may your healing hand be upon all who walk in the shadows. Amen.