The psalms are the language that God has given the church to pray, to sing, to speak his language back to him. Each Sunday, we have one psalm as a centerpiece of our worship time together at WIts' End. During this series of reflections on the Lectionary Psalms we will hear from people in our community as they think and pray through the upcoming psalm for that week.
This week's reflection is brought to us by Christina Koepp. Christina is graduate of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and a recently elected Troublemaker at Wits' End. Her reflection is centered on Psalm 114 in the style of Lectio Divina.
I read Psalm 112 and 113 prior to reading 114. Here are some themes leading into Psalm 114: the overturning of power, generational blessing, an admonishment to praise and worship God, to keep God "high in our hearts."
First Reading: The text started with a classic storytelling line, "When the time came..". There seemed a reference to creation and the creation story in the bizarre imagery - mountains and hills move, cowering before God. Ends with a call to accept and acknowledge the awesomeness of God.
2nd reading: Out of exile. Out of slavery. Out of a foreign land where they could not communicate with their captors. God came to live in (I wonder what this could mean!) Israel and Judah, and the earth could not bear the weight of the Lord living within its bounds. The earth is excited and terrified to have the Lord dwell within its landscape. There is a hint at the miraculous acts of the Exodus - Moses hitting the stone for water? The parting of the sea for Israelites to move through dry land? This is a God that provokes a response in the earth, and that miraculous provision is linked to the movement and dwelling of God.
3rd reading: The sight of God creates jubilation, chaos, and unnatural events in the natural world. Why is the Psalmist asking the land questions? "When the time came.." This is a God waiting like a parent dictates what is to happen - authority, containment, future-thinking is what I sense. What happened that the time was now? What prompted God to become more present to the Israelites? Why did it take them leaving Israel? I can't help but think of the connections between land, home, identity, & family.
Meditation: The natural order has been disrupted. God has been seen. God is present. What could be simply a dry, ordinary space can now be the place of life, resurrection, and salvation. The land, and I'm sure its inhabitants, is not comforted by God moving in; it is overturned, transformed.
Pray: Liberation. A new home. Transformation. Jubilation. A new order.
What continues to unsettle me is the ecstatic response of God's creation to the sight and presence of God. We are horrified to the point of running away and yet overjoyed to experience the coming of the Lord. We are fearful of inhabiting the same space as the Lord - the waters turn around and run, the mountains leap. It is the smallest - the hills - that dance.