Often when we come before God in prayer, we ask for something forgetting that we also have a part to play in the unfolding of our fate. We can feel like we are leaves on the wind, going wherever the wind – or God – blows us. The reality is that at creation we are given the breath of the Holy gifted with the power to choose and to act in the world. We are not just puppets on strings or pieces on a board, indeed our choices can have far reaching implications in a world filled with choice makers.
The Psalm for today amplifies the part that we as created beings are called to play in the midst of creation. The Psalm in its day can be seen as a call to arms of the people of Israel, to bring judgement and sentence to the nations and kings who surround them. What they are called to do, however, is not because of their judgement nor is it for their glory. Both are God’s, and the people are the instrument through which both might be accomplished. But they must choose to do so, and they must act as one with their creator to accomplish their task.
War is a bad metaphor for our call to be co-creators, but it does put the people of Israel in the driver’s seat when it comes to accomplishing God’s will. It tells us that God waits on us to be participants in the world, rather than simply acting on our behalf.
As we strive to find our place in this world and our value as created beings, we must remember that we are made to be a part of the work of creation. When we pray for God to act, we must also pray for guidance in how we can be a part of that work.
Let us take in the words of this Psalm and seek a deeper wisdom.
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in its Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory.
Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters and their nobles with chains of iron, to execute on them the judgement decreed. This is glory for all his faithful ones.
Praise the Lord!
We come before you, O God, in praise. You have entrusted to us the care of creation and one another, and so we pray to you for strength to support one another in this world. We pray for guidance as we seek to live into your will.
Remind us again that your creative spark lives in us, that we are co-creators with you in this world. Inspire us to build communities of love and support. Empower us to walk boldly on your path, by your side.
We praise you, O God. Hear our song this day as we turn again and follow you. In the name of our companion Christ we pray. AMEN