O come let us worship….. Psalm 95.6
We like to think our lives are stable and steady (and sometimes there are). But there are also ups and downs, twists and turns, good days and bad. We live in a changing and often difficult world. The peace we need will come from within, from our relationship with God, not from outside us. That is why we need to grow a strong core of prayer at the very centre of our being, founded on the appreciation and understanding of who God is. This is what it means to worship. Strength flows from that true centre. We learn to navigate from that true north.
The psalms recognize over and over again the movement in our lives. They give us words for when life is stable and good. They also give us prayers of lament, when we are disorientated, when we need to put into words our fears, our pain, our disappointment and anger. Finally they give us words for those moments when we are re-orientated again, when we find our still centre, when there is a time of calm again.
Psalm 95 has these movements in the background with its language of the depths and the mountain tops, the sea and the dry land. We were summoned to joy at the beginning of the psalm with four calls to praise. The psalm has then given us a reason to be joyful across three verses which open our eyes wide to the glory of God in creation.
Now that structure is repeated in a shorter form: there is a threefold call to worship (let us worship….let us bow down…..let us kneel) then a final reason for our joy: for the LORD is our God and we are his people.
The movement in this psalm is not away from God and back towards him but moving deeper into God, from the threshold of the temple, through the doors and approaching the inner sanctuary. There is a movement too as God draws near to us from the glories of creation to the call to know God, to be one with him, to be his.
Seek God’s grace today to draw into his presence and to be more deeply aware of his presence in your life.
This post is one of a series of daily reflections on Psalm 95 in January, at the start of the Diocese of Sheffield Centenary Year