Today's Lectionary Text
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
“Clown fish are first! Sharks are my third favorite,” Alma declared. “What are your second favorite?” I asked her. She replied, “It’s not a fish. It’s an octopus.” We were working, virtually, on a unit about ocean creatures. She was in the middle of her Pre-kindergarten class quarantine, doing class Zoom for about a half-hour every school day. Each day also included five or six activities to be done at home. Granma was the grownup in charge for her.
As I read Psalm 98, I thought of the splendor and magnificence in the ocean. What beautiful creatures God created. Never before this experience with Alma had I recognized just how amazing the ocean is and how glorious is the way all of those creatures live together. For example, the hermit crab exists within quite a plan. Hermit crabs use shells abandoned on the beach to create their homes. When the hermit crab outgrows a particular shell, it abandons that one and moves on to a bigger one. An amazing way to function, designed by the Creator.
Thinking and reading about this wonderful part of creation propels one to “Make a joyful noise to the Lord,” and to “break forth into joyous song and sing praises.” We cannot help but praise a God who creates such an awesome world. “The sea and all that fills it” roars and bellows in praise for the miracle of creation.
Psalm 98 reminds the reader, too, of the Lord’s judgment. In verse 9, it states that God “will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.” This implies that righteousness is the standard. God expects fairness or equity. Fairness includes each being and creature having enough. It suggests a creation in which resources are used wisely and distributed so all are cared for.
The hermit crab provides another illustration of a way this happens. A group of hermit crabs will line up by size. The largest one abandons its shell and moves on to a bigger one it finds. Then, the next crab leaves its shell, moving to the just abandoned one. This continues through the whole line. Each of the crabs ends up with an appropriately sized home. They care for each other.
This process is truly wonderful. All of creation can sing out in joy to the amazing Creator who designed it. God made all creation so each and every part, including that part under the water, could live together well. God has planned wisely; let’s pay attention, clap our hands in joy, and act in the same kind of righteousness and equity that so much of creation exhibits. Truly, we are part of an amazing world. Thanks be to God!
-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Retired Diaconal Minister
Prayer for Reflection
Wonderful Creator, thank you. Empower us to live with care in your creation and in righteousness that honors you. Amen.
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