Reflection on Exodus 20: 1-17, by Nan Stokes
Increasing awareness of Biblical references to creation can suddenly surprise the reader who is looking for those references for the first time. In the Old Testament reading for this third Sunday in Lent, we are reminded again of who made the heaven and earth and the sea and all living beings and why the Sabbath day is consecrated — because the Lord rested on that day after the creation. Everywhere we find evidence of how important the nature of their surroundings was to those scholars who recorded God’s action in their lives. In Psalm 19:8 we respond to: “The statutes of the Lord are just and rejoice the heart;” with: “The commandment of the Lord is clear and gives light to the eyes.” And in verses 9 and 10: “The judgments of the Lord are sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb.” So even as we hear again the Lord’s commandments, we are aware of how we are blessed, and how those sweet blessings are part of the creation we look at each day with the light of our eyes.
Reflection on Psalm 19, by the Rev Tom Harries
The opening of the Psalm is one of the most beautiful creation texts. The heavens declare the glory of God. In our Eucharistic prayer a we say of God’s relation to humanity “you made us for yourself.” We are made for God and one of our important roles is as witnesses to give glory for all that God has done. In this passage from Psalm 19 that idea is extended it’s not just humans but the heavens, the firmament, and all of creation are created by God and joining giving glory to God.
Reflection on Psalm 19, by Jill Peterman
There is something eternal in the night sky. The ancient past and the present moment come together in a stunning starry array. Light from stars light-years away originated millions of years ago. Aurora lights dance in earths magnetic field produced by solar storms from our own sun days ago. It is a dark cold clear night and I am outside, present to this glory.
But how do I see, or interpret this? What knowledge or sense or spirit informs me when I look at the stars? It may be totally different for you. Patterns in the night sky are recognizable by some but not others. Yet, we all look up. Even bright city lights cannot dim the brightest stars. The person there has to look harder, or perhaps leave more to memory.
Seeing is part of what we take in with our senses. It can influence us to look farther, or to shut our eyes. Will the sun come up tomorrow? We certainly hope for and expect this, as “one day tells its tale to another, one night imparts its knowledge to another.” (Psalm 19) We live in hope of this gift.
As a child I always looked to the stars and imagined or hoped others were looking too. I even hoped my teenage music idols were looking up too. What did other kids in Australia see? I certainly did not know. Yet I felt a link to others by this looking up. As I stand under the clear, bright moon with brilliant stars and crunchy snow under my feet, I hope I will always be able to see.
Reflection on Psalm 19, by the Rev Dcn Helen B. Hanten
This psalm which begins, “The heavens declare the glory of God….” reminds us of one way that God’s handiwork in the creation is seen in regular and glorious patterns. As the sun rises and traverses its path through the sky and sets again, “one day tells its tale to another, and one night imparts knowledge to another.” Despite all the uncertainties and sometimes enexpected tragedies of daily living, the rising and setting of the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars are part of the rhythm of the cosmic order that we can rely on, and by those rhythms the earth, “this fragile earth, our island home” is blessed. The psalm writer even has the sun itself rejoicing!
Projection, Humility, and the Call for Justice, by Robert Saler
Excerpt: For those preaching about ecological justice during this Lenten season, the story of Jesus overturning the tables in the marketplace presents a significant temptation. We should spend some time exploring that temptation and the ways in which John’s text itself provides a safeguard against it.