By Ken Asel

A Reading from Psalms 93 and 96

Psalm 93

1 The LORD is King;
he has put on splendid apparel;
the LORD has put on his apparel
and girded himself with strength.

2 He has made the whole world so sure
that it cannot be moved;

3 Ever since the world began, your throne has been established;
you are from everlasting.

4 The waters have lifted up, O LORD,
the waters have lifted up their voice;
the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.

5 Mightier than the sound of many waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea,
mightier is the LORD who dwells on high.

6 Your testimonies are very sure,
and holiness adorns your house, O LORD,
for ever and for evermore.

Psalm 96

1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the whole earth.

2 Sing to the LORD and bless his Name;
proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.

3 Declare his glory among the nations
and his wonders among all peoples.

4 For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised;
he is more to be feared than all gods.

5 As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols;
but it is the LORD who made the heavens.

6 Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence!
Oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary!

7 Ascribe to the LORD, you families of the peoples;
ascribe to the LORD honor and power.

8 Ascribe to the LORD the honor due his Name;
bring offerings and come into his courts.

9 Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness;
let the whole earth tremble before him.

10 Tell it out among the nations: “The LORD is King!
he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it;
let the field be joyful and all that is therein.

12 Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy
before the LORD when he comes,
when he comes to judge the earth.

13 He will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with his truth.

Meditation

Today’s psalms took me back to the dining hall at Seabury Western Seminary. At the time for blessing of the meal, a guy named Bob often broke into song. There were many renditions, but the one I remember most went like this: “God is on our side… God, God, God is on our side.”

I never asked Bob if he believed that, suspecting he liked hearing his baritone echo around us more than he liked the lyrics. But I wonder if this enjoyable display at many meals was in fact true? Many nations have made the same proclamation. During World War II German soldiers had “God is with us,” inscribed on their belt buckles. The Confederate Army often went into battle before or after revivals. American presidents often have invoked God to support a particular plan of action or policy. Most famously and honestly Abraham Lincoln remarked that he was not worried that God was on the Union side as much as he hoped the Federals were committed to being on God’s side, and not the other way around.

Psalms 93 and 96 capture beautifully this understanding of the interaction between our Creator and God’s people.

The LORD is King;
he has put on splendid apparel;
the LORD has put on his apparel
and girded himself with strength.

He has made the whole world so sure
that it cannot be moved.

“Choose,” the psalms seem to say, “choose and celebrate God’s way, which is everlasting.”

Even before we pray for God’s deliverance from danger, today’s psalms entreat the world to recognize not only divine holiness, but the Almighty’s fundamental justice. They also point us to the importance of being primarily committed, not so much to our own victories, but to the victory of blessedness, the restoration of mercy, and new beginnings, new possibilities.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the whole earth.

Sing to the LORD and bless his Name;
proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.

(The Reverend) J. Kenneth Asel, D.Min. is a retired priest from the Diocese of Wyoming. Devvie and he have been married for 30 years and have recently relocated again to the West and the Front Range. Ken hopes he never will need to move again.

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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

All Saints Church, Chevy Chase, Md.
Church of the Province of South East Asia