Today's Lectionary Text
The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
The seas have lifted up, Lord,
Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
For many years I lived about a 45-minute drive from the Pacific coast. I would go there and listen to the waves as they rhythmically washed up on the sandy shore. I found the sound of water flowing over sand then retreating back to the ocean soothing. I felt peaceful as each wave softly whispered, “Shhhh.” In the busyness of life, this was a refuge for me. It reminded me that God cares for me and grants me peace if I’ll but listen.
But not all shorelines are the same. At some the waves don’t whisper but roar. Large, powerful waves, like jagged walls capped in white, thunder against boulders. It’s a deafening sound. Even yelling to those nearby can’t be heard. These powerful, crashing waves reminded me of the power of the Creator who made the vast ocean that stretched before me as far as I could see.
The voice of the waters evokes the imagery of the voice of the ocean of humanity. As I consider the world around me, I hear raging voices full of hate, division and violence, voices that seek to drown lesser voices, to smash and wash away anything that stands in their way. In these moments I cry out to God in the deafening din that surrounds me and wonder if my voice can be heard at all, if it matters.
Then I remember the quiet seashore, the gentle, “Shhhh.” Then I know that I am treasured by a God whose love is greater than hate, a God who soothes division, a God who overcomes violence. Then I know God speaks words of peace to all with a soft voice. Then I know God hears my voice when I call, and my voice matters as I too speak these words of peace.
-Rev. A.G. Turner
Orchard UMC, Ewing UMC-Presbyterian, Page UMC
Prayer for Reflection
God of power and peace, grant me the courage to speak words of peace, the wisdom to listen, and the grace to hear your calming voice, that hatred, division and violence may be washed away; through Christ the Prince of Peace. Amen.
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