Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Psalm 65: Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving week, and I'm giving you a Thanksgiving post. I'm so cute and considerate--just like your great aunt, who sends you a card every year.

And when you're looking for a Thanksgiving Bible verse, there's no better place to turn than to the Psalms. Why?

Well, I've mentioned previously the work of Hermann Gunkel, the German scholar who first suggested that the Psalms fall into a variety of different generic categories: psalms of lament, hymns of praise, songs for the king, etc. Gunkel also argued that one of the most important minor genres includes thanksgiving psalms.

Makes my job easy, huh?

So this week, I give you my favorite, a passage from Psalm 65 in which the author praises God for the earth's bounty--indeed, in which the earth itself seems to break into joyous shouts. Here are verses 8 through 13, with my warmest Thanksgiving wishes:

"Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for presenting the reader with a poet who is able to help us envision the full enrichment of the river of God by our sense of touch, almost feeling the river run through our fingers with its clear, cold, freshness. You can almost hear the rolling wooden wheels of the wagon, our ears anticipating the arrival of its overflowing riches. And, our sense of smell is not left unrewarded as we receive the gentle scent of the pastures and fields that also promise abundance. Who has not walked by a vineyard in the fall and been renewed by the scent of the fruit of the vine? With all nature singing, God reaches into every sense that we have to assure us of God's graceful gifts. Thanks for sharing this window into the author's view of Thanksgiving.
    The Pious Pastor

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