O come, let us sing to the Most High Creator of the Cosmos; let us make joyful song to the Beloved! Let us come to the Radiant One with thanksgiving, with gratitude let us offer our psalms of praise! For the Beloved in Infinite, the Breathing Life of all … … O that today we would harken to the Beloved’s voice! Harden not your hearts, as in days of old, that you be not separated from Love. Be not like those who hear the Spirit’s Voice and heed it not, thinking to be above the Teacher. For life is but a breath in the Eternal Dance, a gift to be reverenced with trust.
(from Psalm 95 from Psalms for Praying An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill)
Breath Prayer: “even” “in the wilderness”
Psalm 95 calls us to worship and calls us to task. The early verses welcome us into God’s creative songs. Here we reminded to return to God with a grateful and joyful heart, to return to God who is our rock and our salvation. We know this God. We know this God whose strength sustains us in the dark. Whose story has been told, sung, and prayed throughout time. Whose story has lifted and held us even in the wilderness.
The psalm continues to another time when our ancestors journeyed through the wilderness. Their path was not always clear, the ground uneven. The psalmist cries out to us, warning us against becoming hard of heart.
I need to also speak of my doubts and brokenness. All along this Lenten journey I have called out to God, my rock and my redeemer. All along I have been following a promise of God’s mercy and compassion. As my feet grow weary, so does my spirit and in this time I know about the real possibility of a hardening of heart. Today I pray for a shepherding God who I know will guide and protect as we continue on the journey.
Prayer: Holy One you have created us, each one. You hear both our songs of celebration as well as our weary sighs of frustration. Loving God, we remember your promise to be with us. Shepherd us, we pray. Amen.
Working as a Hospice Chaplain, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.