Wednesday of Pentecost 12 – Psalm 67

1 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!

I once recognized someone in a movie. It was a former student of my wife’s. We knew to look for her because she had told us about it. She was an extra in a Hollywood film. The film was not really very good, but it was fun to see someone I knew on the screen. The star was walking past a crowd of folks at an airport and there was Taisha in the crowd. We knew it was her because she had one of the most radiant smiles I have ever seen. When she smiled, you almost needed sunglasses.

The psalmist asks that God’s face shine upon us. If you have known someone who had a bit of Taisha’s smile, you might also have an image in mind of a radiant, sun-brilliant smile. When they turn that on, it is impossible to ignore and it makes the whole room a brighter place. All is joyful when God’s radiant face shines upon us, it dispels the gloom and scatters the clouds.

But the psalmist wants us to see something else: God’s face shines on all the peoples. Like the sun it illumines the whole earth and the nations rejoice. There is a funny thing about God. He just will not fit into the boundaries that we want to construct for him. He has a very large-hearted love which puts forth his favor and delight into every nook and cranny of his creation, even the places I might be afraid to go. I love the smile of God upon me. It is like the kiss of sunshine on a beautiful summer day.

God smiles on the whole world.

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