Creatives welcoming the Creator
Psalm 68: 24-35 (NIV)
24 Your procession, God, has come into view,
the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.
25 In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
with them are the young women playing the timbrels.
26 Praise God in the great congregation;
praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel.
27 There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them,
there the great throng of Judah’s princes,
and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.
28 Summon your power, God;
show us your strength, our God, as you have done before.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem
kings will bring you gifts.
30 Rebuke the beast among the reeds,
the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations.
Humbled, may the beast bring bars of silver.
Scatter the nations who delight in war.
31 Envoys will come from Egypt;
Cush will submit herself to God.
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
sing praise to the Lord,
33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
who thunders with mighty voice.
34 Proclaim the power of God,
whose majesty is over Israel,
whose power is in the heavens.
35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God!
This psalm is written like a bird’s eye view of a public procession. Or in my mind, two seagulls watching from the temple pinnacle. “Hey look – the tribe of Benjamin’s really tiny! But look at those lords and ladies from Judah! Is that a herd of cows coming up the main street?” It doesn’t sound like the kind of worship I’m used to in my local chapel. Mavis gets up to give the notices. The preacher says some words. Peter plays with the organ pedals. This procession, watched over by the seagulls, needs to be seen from a lofty vantage point. It is huge. Singers and dancers, international guests, animals, gold and silver. This is a pageant for God. This is a world class show for God. This is a parade of talents for the Almighty. A performance for an audience of one.
Dear God, if this what you were used to, we’ve gone downhill, eh God?
Who’s performing to whom?
Eh, you’re answering back?
Well, you are praying, for once!
Who’s performing to whom? Umm, them for you?
Always ‘them’, why not you?
Me, perform, for you? What have I got to bring you God?
All the gifts I’ve given you. All the grace I’ve shown you. All the love I gifted you.
Worship – it’s about my offering, isn’t it, not just ‘theirs’?
Praise be! Now you’re listening!