Wednesday of Pentecost 4 – Psalm 66:1-7

 Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
    sing the glory of his name;
    give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
All the earth worships you
    and sings praises to you;
    they sing praises to your name.” Selah

Come and see what God has done:
    he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
He turned the sea into dry land;
    they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
    who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
    let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah

When she was a little girl, my mother grew up on a farm in northwestern Iowa in the 1930’s. One of her favorite tasks was to bring lunch to her father in the fields adjacent to their home. She would stand at the end of a row while her father was cultivating or mowing hay or one of the many other things that farmers do. One day she was standing on the edge of the field when her father was mowing hay. He stopped the tractor but before they sat down to lunch, he motioned for her to follow. They came to a spot in the field where it had already been mowed, but there was a patch of standing hay.

Slowly they crept forward, and my grandfather pushed the standing grass aside to show my mother a meadowlark nest, with the mother bird sitting on her eggs in that little island of unmown hay. I have this image of my mother as a little girl and her robust father smiling at this wonder in a hayfield together.

The psalmist urges us to come and see what God has done. He points us toward the mighty deeds of the Exodus, the crossing of the Red Sea and the mighty deeds which He did through Moses. I “see” those deeds through the accounting of them in the book of Exodus. But those are not the only mighty deeds of God that I get to see. My grandfather wisely stopped his tractor quickly when the mother meadowlark burst up in front of him. He carefully preserved her nest so that he could show his daughter another sort of work of God. She loved birds her whole life.

My grandfather was always a gentle and faithful man. He lived his whole life in a small community of people. They were not always easy to get along with. Neighbors sometimes can be difficult, and his neighbors were no exception. But he showed my mother another mighty work of God as and elder in his congregation he forgave and loved and built a community on the love of Jesus, the mightiest work of all.

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