Opening: 100 Days of Psalms and Prayers

Monday, September 13, 2021 (Day 100)

Katie Snipes Lancaster

Psalm 100 (from Robert Altar’s 2007 translation)
Shout out to the Lord
all the earth,
worship the Lord in rejoicing,
come before God in glad song.
Know that the Lord is God.
God has made us, we are God’s,
God’s people and the flock God tends…
Acclaim the Lord,
Bless God’s name.
For the Lord is good,
forever God’s kindness,
and for all generations God’s faithfulness.

An Opening Word
As a final endcap to this 100 days project, Psalm 100 ends us with joy and glad song. What a gift that scripture can uplift. We are called on to bless God’s name. We are asked to “know” the certainty of God. We are asked to remember God as source of life, maker, creator, sustainer. It is a powerful and straightforward Psalm that invites us to sing and praise. And that is what I hope the Psalms have been for you this summer: an invitation. I wasn’t sure what it would be like to think about a Psalm every day, but I know it has changed me. It has made me tune in differently. It has connected me to people from thousands of years ago who help me (us) give voice to who God is and what it means to struggle to be human in this life. There is every feeling across the spectrum of human emotion, even the ugly emotions of jealousy or hate that rise up as easily in this century as in the ancient centuries from which the Psalms have come. And then there is reminder after reminder of the beauty, grandeur, and gift of life we receive from God in Psalms like this one, that help us to keep it all in perspective.

Today’s mystic is another one of unknown authorship. It is a mystic text found by Martin Luther in 1516, about which he said, “Next to the Bible and St. Augustine, no book has ever come into my hands from which I have learnt more of God and Christ, and man and all things that are.” He called it simply, “Theologia Germanica.” I love the little inscription, translated into English in a different era, which says that this is a book “which setteth forth many fair lineaments of divine Truth, and saith very lofty and lovely things touching a perfect life.” You can tell from the opening poem, an excerpt of which is below, that it is a text that seeks the presence of God in our everyday living, in our actions, in our work, in our going out and coming home, for if God’s presence flows through “our deeds” then what we to might become more in line with the divine.

That seems a fitting place to end this (seemingly endless) devotional on Psalms and Mystics, yes? With the hope that God might flow through our lives, so that our lives might echo the divine that much more fully.

Prayer from the Mystics: Theologia Germanica by Anonymous
O Living Will that shalt endure,
When all that seems shall suffer shock
Rise in the spiritual Rock,
Flow through our deeds and make them pure.

September 13, 2021

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