This short Psalm calls all people, of all nations, to worship God.
So often we tend to think of God as ours. We talk as if our nation, in my case America, has some manifest destiny. As if we are “God’s country” and all others ought to do what we say. We forget God is present in all lands, and calls people of all nationalities to be God’s very own.
We react in fear at people from other countries, calling for border guards and walls to keep the stranger out forgetting our God appeared as the child Jesus whose parents had to cross borders for fear of their lives, as refugees in Egypt, when Jesus’ life was threatened. We forget the immigrant, the stranger, the person of another race or culture, are also children of God loved fully and embraced just as we are.
We react with consternation when people we know come out as gay, or transgender, or some other sexual or gender identity we don’t have. We act as if somehow they are tearing apart our way of life for simply being honest about who they are, forgetting that it is God who made them, and that Scripture says however they ended up, they were knit together in their mother’s wombs, fearfully and wonderfully made as works of art. We forget God don’t make no junk.
We see people of other faiths, and respond with fear, saying we don’t want their mosque or temple here, and talk disparagingly of Hindus, Jews, Muslims, & others. We forget the holy people of God in Scripture like Job, like John the Baptist, like Melchizideck, and like the Magi who come to Jesus during Christmas are not Christians but Jews, pagans, and Zoroastrians. Yet they too are remembered in Scripture as people of God whose lives speak. We forget God calls people of all faiths and traditions to know God and wherever people experience God, by whatever name they know God, if they truly love God with all their heart and live with love and compassion in the world, they are God’s people regardless of the faith tradition they come from.
I could go on and talk of how we push aside children, people with disabilities, at times women and the poor, but this same principle is true. All people, all nations, all groups, include beautiful children of God for who Christ died, and of whom God says “this one is my child, whom I love, in whom I am well pleased”.
Let us learn to see that light of Christ in each person, and be that light of Christ ourselves.
And I ain’t whistling any Dixie
Your progressive redneck preacher,