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God's Word is Both Truth and Beauty

A Lent Reflection for Thursday, February 29 by Rev. Jeannette Conver


Lectionary reading for 2/29/2024. Psalm 19; Exodus 19:1-9a; 1 Peter 2:4-10

Selected passage for reflection: Psalm 19


Read

Psalm 19 NLT


For the choir director: A psalm of David.

1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The skies display his craftsmanship.

2 Day after day they continue to speak;

night after night they make him known.

3 They speak without a sound or word;

their voice is never heard.[a]

4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,

and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.

5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.

It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.

6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens

and follows its course to the other end.

Nothing can hide from its heat.

7 The instructions of the Lord are perfect,

reviving the soul.

The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,

making wise the simple.

8 The commandments of the Lord are right,

bringing joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord are clear,

giving insight for living.

9 Reverence for the Lord is pure,

lasting forever.

The laws of the Lord are true;

each one is fair.

10 They are more desirable than gold,

even the finest gold.

They are sweeter than honey,

even honey dripping from the comb.

11 They are a warning to your servant,

a great reward for those who obey them.

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?

Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!

Don’t let them control me.

Then I will be free of guilt

and innocent of great sin.

14 May the words of my mouth

and the meditation of my heart

be pleasing to you,

O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.


Reflect

Nothing compares to the vastness of the sky by night or by day. The clouds that appear suspended like gauzy wisps of fluff make an airplane look like a toy. The tiny twinkling lights we see at night are light years away. The James Webb telescope images continue to astound us with their beauty. Maybe you, like me, spend much of your day with what is immediately around you—addressing the mundane, routine tasks of daily existence. My vision is narrowed and constricted to the here and now…and I can lose perspective.


Psalm 19 reminds us to look up from our screens, our to do lists and look out. Only then do we really hear the voice of God in creation. Only then do we still have our whirling thoughts. Only then do we realize how small our problems are. Only then do we remember there is someone outside of time and space who holds our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows.


Then vv. 6-11 draw our attention to another way God speaks to us—through the Word. The Word reveals a God of perfection, wisdom, truth, clarity, and worthy of our trust. When we heed the Word’s warning, we respond with joyful obedience.


The conclusion of Psalm 19 in vv. 12-14, is the psalmist’s humble response to God. God, the formidable rock and loving redeemer has spoken in creation and Word. May we join the poet and say, “May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you!”


Respond

  • Take a walk in God’s creation. Pause and observe the intricacy of lacy bare branches against the sky. Or step outside tonight to look up at the stars and planets. Be still. Listen.



  • Enjoy this poem, based on Psalm 19, written by Malcom Guite found in his book David’s Crown: Sounding the Psalms:


XIX Caeli enarrant


In that still place where earth and heaven meet

Under mysterious starlight, raise your head

And gaze up at their glory:  ‘the complete

 

Consort dancing’ as a poet said

Of his own words. But these are all God’s words;

A shining poem, waiting to be read

 

Afresh in every heart. Now look towards

The brightening east, and see the splendid sun

Rise and rejoice, the icon of his lord’s

 True light. Be joyful with him, watch him run

His course, receive the gift and treasure of his light

Pouring like honeyed gold till day is done

 

As sweet and strong as all God’s laws, as right

As all his judgements and as clean and pure,

All given for your growth, and your delight!


Rest

O God, my rock and my redeemer… Creator of the vast heavens and our own small blue planet, thank you for hearing me even though I am so small in a universe so large. I love you, trust you, and worship you with wonder. Be glorified in my life, my words, and my deeds this day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


About the Author


Jeannette is the mother of four amazing adults and grandmother to two outstanding grandchildren. She lives in the Skagit Valley of Washington state-- near majestic mountains, restless ocean waves, and tulips. Jeanette is the Lead Pastor of Community Covenant Church. She loves the beauty of words and nature and finds joy in riotous color. She’s always ready for coffee and conversation, or a game of UNO.



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