Today’s psalm looks at the importance of handing things down from one generation to the next. That which is being spoken of being handed down is of utmost importance in oral cultures, which is the story. In particular, we are looking at the story of God’s relationship with creation, specifically of God’s acts of wonder in the presence of the people of Israel. Ultimately though, these stories aren’t just about God’s relationship with rocks, trees, water, or stars, but rather about God’s relationship with those for whom the world was made: humanity.
That’s what most of our Holy scriptures are, stories about God’s relationship with us. There are stories of how we move closer to or farther from God, stories of joy and sorrow, hardship and survival. These stories are told also teach us ways we might go, and paths we might avoid. These stories are told and retold, so that we don’t forget lessons that were perhaps hard learned by our foremothers and forefathers.
Today when I think about the stories we need to tell, lessons we should not forget, I can’t help but think of the tragedy that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday evening where a gunman from a hotel window took the lives of 59 and injured 500 and more children of God. What do we learn from this horrible situation? How will we change as a people to ensure we don’t see headlines like this again and again? We are still so close to the event that it is hard to know where to go.
And when we don’t know where to go, we often turn to God in prayer.
Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap.
In the daytime he led them with a cloud, and all night long with a fiery light.
He split rocks open in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
He made streams come out of the rock, and caused waters to flow down like rivers.
Blessed Creator, you give us the length and breadth of creation in which to live, move, and grow. As co-creators, you call us to leave our mark, to do our part in the ongoing shaping of this world. Forgive us when what we do leaves scars on the world and those who inhabit it. Guide and inspire us to be people who bring healing and love to those who feel broken and alone. Help us to work your wonders anew in our day, the miracle of uniting in love, scattering all darkness, and reflecting your love-light. We offer this prayer, hearts broken open before you. Mend us and send us, O God. AMEN