As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Psalm 48 (NRSV)
Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King.
Within its citadels God
has shown himself a sure defense.
Then the kings assembled,
they came on together.
As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
they were in panic, they took to flight;
trembling took hold of them there,
pains as of a woman in labor,
as when an east wind shatters
the ships of Tarshish.
As we have heard, so have we seen
in the city of the LORD of hosts,
in the city of our God,
which God establishes forever. Selah
We ponder your steadfast love, O God,
in the midst of your temple.
Your name, O God, like your praise,
reaches to the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with victory.
Let Mount Zion be glad,
let the towns of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments.
Walk about Zion, go all around it,
count its towers,
consider well its ramparts;
go through its citadels,
that you may tell the next generation
that this is God,
our God forever and ever.
He will be our guide forever.
“His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth,” reads this psalm of praise. These words must certainly be true, as I am now able to witness the wonders of the mountains found in East Tennessee. I grew up in West Tennessee, and the shift from flat to hilly terrain has been refreshing! The mountains, with their large faces and far-reaching tree lines, remind us of God’s strength, greatness, and majesty. As Emily Dickinson writes, “Their Purple figures rise without attempt – Exhaustion – Assistance – or Applause.” Psalm 48 uses Mount Zion to reflect the power and might of our God.
Though we may now exist in a broken world of unloving tyrants and unjust social structures, Psalm 48 reminds us of a God before whom powerful kings tremble and the lowly are upheld. Sometimes we rely so heavily on our earthly leaders that we forget to put our trust in our Maker. However, this psalm of Zion encourages us to go out into our world, to “count its towers,” walk through its forests and parks, “consider well its ramparts,” hike up its mountains! In doing so, Psalm 48 invites us all to seek, praise, and rejoice in God, who “will be our guide forever.”
Wondrous God, we thank you for your steadfast love. Fill us with your Spirit and send us out into the world, that we may explore new ways to appreciate you and share your love with others. In your holy name we pray. Amen.
Go with God.