Opening: 100 Days of Psalms and Prayers

Monday, September 6, 2021(Day 93)

Katie Snipes Lancaster

Psalm 93 (from Robert Altar’s 2007 translation)
The Lord reigns, in triumph clothed,
clothed is the Lord, in strength God is girded.
Yes, the world stands firm, not to be shaken.
Your throne stands firm from of old, from forever You are.
The streams lifted up, O Lord, the streams lifted up their voice,
the streams lifted up their roaring.
More than the sound of many waters,
the sea’s majestic breakers, majestic on high is the Lord.

An Opening Word
Have you ever been to the beach when the waves are so loud it’s hard to hear the person sitting next to you? Have you ever sat by a mountain stream and noticed how noisy it can be? Psalm 93 is using the metaphor of nature’s sounds to illuminate the ways in which the whole world is called to praise God. The streams “lifted up their voice” and the sea proclaims that God is “majestic on high.” As someone who finds deep connection to God whenever I am by a powerful force of water, I very much resonate with Psalm 93. As Robert Alter says, water can inspire “awe or even fear in the observer, but YHWH is high above them.” There is a trembling power when Lake Michigan surges. But God’s power extends beyond that. It gives us a vivid picture of the intensity of divine potency.

Today’s mystic is Karl Rahner whose quote began this 100 day project back on June 1: “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or will not exist at all.” He was a 20th century German theologian and Catholic scholar. It is quite mystic-like to hold two seemingly opposite sensibilities: on the one hand he claims, “I am someone who has been tempted by atheism,” while on the other hand he proclaims “There is nothing more self-evident to me than God’s existence.” His first book was “Encounters with Prayer” and decades later, his final anthology was another collection of prayers, with copious theological study in between the two publications. His beginning and ending was prayer. As for “believing” in God despite the tremendous, unearned, systemic, horrific suffering of the world (a, he said, “I believe because I pray.”

Prayer from the Mystics:
May all that I know
apart from You
be nothing more
than a chance traveling companion
on the journey toward You.

September 6, 2021

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