Finding Faith: Prayer for blessing
The season of Easter pulses with the joy of Gods’ astonishing blessings in the resurrection of Christ. In this spring season of the year, we see that blessing emerging as the earth comes alive again from its long winter sleep. It is refreshing to see the flowers budding and blooming, the trees popping with their leaves, the grass becoming greener every day. I love the season of spring because it represents life.
Psalm 67 gives expression to this joy that comes through the experience of God’s faithful people from generation to generation. The psalm beings and ends with joyful benediction and blessing.
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us.”
This psalm was thought to be a harvest festival song, notice that it bubbles over with wonder and awe for all the gifts of a gracious and good God. How appropriate it is to consider these words in this spring season as fields are being plowed and prepared for a new period of harvest. We have reason to exult for joy as the earth yields its increase and our God has blessed us.
In this Easter season, as we proclaim that “God so loved the world” (John 3:16a), that God sent Jesus Christ not to condemn the world, but “in order that the world might be saved” (John 3:17), Psalm 67 insists that we never forget the wideness for God’s sovereignty and love. In the day of the psalmist, ancients celebrated seasonal rains and good harvests as divine gifts, even as droughts and poor harvests signaled God’s judgment.
One can imagine the psalmist pointing to the piles of barley, wheat, and dried fruits, to jugs of wine and olive oil, exclaiming that “God is good!” and praying that God continues to be such.
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us” (Verse 1). Jesus Christ has risen! God has been gracious to us. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to imagine all nations being glad and singing for joy. Wouldn’t it be uplifting if we all prayed for God to give us a glimpse of his wide, wide mercy and his vision for peace on earth. Amen.
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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Alison W. Grove, pastor of Covenant United Methodist Church, Lock Haven.