The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat. The law of YHWH is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of YHWH are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of YHWH are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of YHWH is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of YJHWH is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of YHWH are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
We are on Pt 3 of our Backyard Blessings series this Lent. The first week, we talked about the Blessing of Provision, and how God promises that humankind will continue. The rainbow, a symbol of that promise, reminds us that we are in covenant with God- one that is unbreakable either by God or by humans. The last week we talked about the Blessing of generations, again focusing on a covenant or promise that cannot be broken- and we spoke of the things that have been handed down to us by Generations that have gone before us, as well as the things we want to hand down to those generations coming after us. (Let them know that if they didn't fill out a quilt square with an H in their name, there are extras)
Today, we take a moment to look around our backyard at the blessing of creation. Nature is an incredible gift from God- everything human beings need to sustain life, to heal ourselves, to feed ourselves, even protect ourselves is found right in creation. Just as the elements of creation work together in perfect harmony, there is also a synergy between human beings and nature... there is a delicate balance between us and the earth, and as the psalmist tells us, laws, or rules that we must follow in order to honor and respect that balance.
But today, instead of telling you 'my take' on this text, I'd like to share this with you in the form of a guided meditation. Its a way of hearing the text in a slow, meditative way, and I'll pause after each verse to allow the words to sink in. As you listen, and as you reflect, try to open your heart and spirit to what God might be saying to you or to us through the text. Think not just about the larger eath, and stars and skies, but also about our own backyard. How do we, or how can we, honor God's laws respecting care of the earth, and care of one another?
When our time of meditation is over, I want to invite you to sit quietly for a few moments, and then if you like, share what God might be saying to you with the group or with one another...
Read Psalm 19, verse by verse... slow, leaving at least 15 seconds between verses.