Wednesday of Easter VI – Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
    your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!

The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth fear him!

In late April of 1877 the entire population of Minnesota was called upon by the newly elected governor to pray for relief from a plague of locusts which had been devouring the crops in the fields since 1873. I cannot say that every soul in Minnesota that day prayed to God for relief, but I bet a bunch of Lutherans were in Church. If you are ever driving through Cold Spring, MN., you can stop at the Assumption Chapel, often called the Grasshopper Church, which was built specially to pray for relief from these plagues.

At first it did not seem to work. Two warm days caused a massive hatch of wriggling, flying, and voracious pests. But then, on the third day, the temperatures suddenly plummeted into a late season freeze and sleet storm. The locusts were caught in an upper Midwest cold snap, the crops were saved, and people had food to eat.

The psalmist prays for God’s gracious face to shine upon the people, the very benediction which preachers often pronounce upon a congregation at the end of the service. He ties God’s blessing to the earth yielding its increase (vs 6). “God, our God, shall bless us,” he declares. Jesus has risen from the dead to take care of us. We confess he sits at God’s right hand. That is not a place he occupies but is a statement of the fact that all providential power flows through his perforated hands. Jesus makes the seeds sprout and the flowers bloom.

The name of the governor who called for prayer in Minnesota in 1877 was John S. Pillsbury. You probably recognize that name from the flour milling business he co-founded with a nephew. Having been elected in 1876, he knew just how serious the locust plague was and he also knew that the answer lay in God’s hands. The people of the whole earth praise God for His Son’s care. Join them today.  

Scroll to Top