Reflection This is a difficult psalm. I am grateful to Bev Herrema for her song version, and grateful to our editor for selecting it. Bev has condensed and sharpened the Psalm’s message. It certainly has a 21st Century ring to it now. But problems remain. The main one for me is the idea that those who say there is no God are fools (verse 1). Many people who say there is no God are far from fools! Not only are they often very clever people, but they cannot be straightforwardly aligned with the set of people who greedily take more than their share of the earth’s resources at the huge expense of others (verse 3).
I am helped by a children’s story.
Two of my grandchildren are continuing with home school. As part of this, I read to them on Zoom (what would we do without it!) Our book for the first half of the summer term was ‘Heidi’. I read the original version. The children also had an abridged version from the library. The original has a lot explicitly about God. The prodigal son story is Heidi’s favourite, and is lived out by her grandfather. She is taught about God’s faithfulness and the need for persistent trusting prayer through her life events interpreted to her by Grandmamma. All this is totally absent from the library version. A child could read it, enjoy it, be helped maybe by the way it resolves Heidi’s sadness. But that child would have no opportunity to think about God in relation to Heidi’s life, and their own. God has been airbrushed out of the story. That, for me, is one example of the milieu in which we live. It is why verse 1 of this Psalm is relevant to our day and a serious challenge.
Lord, thank you for my mustard seed of faith. A gift.
The Rev’d Dr Gwen Collins, retired minister, member of Avenue St Andrews URC