Day 38 | Cameron Garrett
“May God be gracious to us and bless us
And make his face shine upon us –
So that your ways may be known on Earth,
Your salvation among all nations” (Psalm 67: 1-2)
The picture I’ve chosen to share is a sort of testimony: “Come and hear all you who fear God / let me tell you what He has done for me” (66: 16).
This picture reminds me that God has pursued and Loved me like a Good Father since my youth. God our Mother has cared for me, sheltered me, cried with me, and continues to gently raise me. The grace in my life has never been earned and has always been freely given.
I was born to parents that taught me the value of Love, to grandparents that mention me in their prayers every night, to privilege and abundance, to forgiveness, and ultimately to blessing. As I type this my skin stands in recognition of these simple and profound facts of Grace, Mercy, and Belovedness.
Indeed, I have been given much. We as a community have been given much. Our blessing, when reflected upon, should cause us to turn inward. Where is the abundance we have been shown in the tears of the homeless, in the persecution of the Other, in thirst and hunger, in loneliness and alienation, in greed and in violence? The reflection in Psalm 67 “The land yields its harvest / God, our God, blesses us” can seem callous when juxtaposed with the barren wastelands that border the fruit of our lives.
Consider the banal cliché “To those whom much is given, much is expected.” Psalm 66 is a testimony of God’s blessing after a great victory in battle. In this testimonial, the psalmist responds to God’s blessing by vowing to give God his best:
“I will come to your temple with burnt offerings
And fulfill my vows to you –
Vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke
When I was in trouble.
I will sacrifice fat animals to you
And an offering of rams;
I will offer bulls and goats.” ( NIV Psalm 66: 13-15).
Psalm 67 prays “May God be gracious to us and bless us” precisely so that His “ways may be known on Earth.” Consider that God’s blessing exists in giving what He has Given – which is Love. How do we respond to blessing, abundance, friendship, Home, and Community? We must turn inward. Jesus says the Kingdom of heaven is within you.