May 25

Psalm 97:1-2

“The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.” vss. 1-2

A long time ago, as our faith ancestors began to articulate their image of God they were adamant in claiming that the Lord was greater than all the gods of the nations. They believed that it was foolish for people to worship idols made of clay or wood. Their God was king of all the earth, greater than the rulers of the nations, and God’s throne was founded on the principles of righteousness and justice, the core values of their developing religion. While we continue to understand God as the source of all Being and the creator of the universe, using “king” language to describe God has lost some of its impact. Kings just don’t have the same significance in our world, and they certainly don’t have much power! We’ve had to find other terms to describe God, ones that are consistent with our experience. Still the psalmist got one big thing right. Clouds and thick darkness are all around God! And because that’s the way it is, we will be forever stymied in trying to know God! Oh, we try hard enough! But God remains hidden–but not absent! And righteousness and justice are still at the heart of the God mystery–and believers embrace those values. They have become the guiding principles of our lives.

Thought for the Day: What’s my favorite word for God?

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