“For he is our God, we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand” (Psalm 95.7)
Psalm 95 has been building to this point and we could and should linger here. Through the Psalm we call ourselves and one another and the whole world to rejoice in the LORD, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are called to worship God first as the creator of heaven and earth, the beauty around us. We are called to worship in the heights and depths, in chaos and in order.
Then once again we are summoned to praise, magnifying the LORD and bowing down before him.
And now comes this deeper, most profound reason for praise and joy. The words need to be spoken with wonder and awe even though they are very familiar: “For he is our God, we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand”.
The Psalm is claiming a special relationship between the congregation who gather to worship and the God we adore. We are not reaching out in praise to a God who is at a distance. We are kneeling in adoration of the LORD who has called us, who has come near to us, who has made himself known, who has made us a people who were no people, who nurtures and sustains us. This is the LORD who has called us into a relationship of faithful, covenant love.
Again there is an echo of the Psalm in the first line of Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father in heaven”. The words claim immediately a relationship with God which is not of our making but his. They place us immediately in a relationship with a community for we say our Father, not my Father. They carry a sense of both closeness and intimacy yet of the majesty and greatness of God.
Worship in wonder and in joy: “For he is our God”
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