Lectionary, Preacher Group, Psalms

The Face of God

I’m reading a very fine study of Psalm 27, or rather the portions of it that are in the lectionary this week, and I looked to see if there will be an answer to the question raised by one of my friends (Hi, RevFun!) at Preacher Group this morning, but there was not, so here it is: what is up with God having a face?

It seemed awkward to me, too. Isn’t it the case that seeing God’s face would pretty much set a person on fire, in a not so good way? Wouldn’t God’s face be too much for us?

And do we really want to go around thinking of God as having something so human as a face in the first place?

I suspect I’m missing some important piece of exegetical material here, but since it’s only Tuesday I’m not worried about it, not yet. Maybe some smart preacher out there can tell me what all that stuff about hiding the face means. Does it refer to the social shame of being rejected by someone above you on the pyramid of power? Or is it more like having a parent who refuses to make eye contact with you? (And aren’t those DaVinci eyes a little scary?)

We went on to discuss finding some way to say it that doesn’t depend on having God be the Big Giant Head. Still pondering.

Psalms, Revised Songbird Version

Psalm 29, Take Two

Psalm 29 (Revised Songbird Version) — This will be our Call to Worship on Sunday.

 

Leader: Put it into words, you angels: our Lord is a God of glory and strength.

People: Put it into words; speak out loud the glory of God's name!

Leader: Worship our Lord in the irresistible wonder of holiness.

People: When we hear the waves crash, we hear God.

Leader: God’s voice speaks stateliness and wildness, too.

People: God's voice breaks mighty trees the way we snap twigs under our feet.

Leader: God’s voice moves all creation, the land and the creatures and the people.

People: When we see flames, they remind us of God's power.

Leader: When we feel an earthquake, we get a taste of God's strength. Put it into words!

People: Glory! Glory!!

Leader: Whatever happens, flood or fire, earthquake or windstorm, God will be with us.

All: God will help us, whatever comes. God will help us and give us peace.

 

Psalms, Revised Songbird Version

Put it into words

My continuing obsession with Psalm 29 led to this responsive reading, which is an interlacing of the NRSV and the Revised Songbird Version.

One: Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Many: Put it into words, you angels: our Lord is a God of glory and strength.

One: Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name; worship the LORD in holy splendor.

Many: Put it into words of prayer and praise; speak out loud the glory of God's name; worship our Lord in the irresistible wonder of holiness.

One: The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over mighty waters.

Many: When we hear the waves crash, we hear God.

One: The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

Many: There is power and dignity in the voice of God.

One: The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

Many: God's voice could break the mightiest trees the way twigs snap under our feet.

One: He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

Many: All the land is moved by God's voice.

One: The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.

Many: When we see flames, they remind us of God's power.

One: The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

Many: When we feel an earthquake, we get a taste of God's strength.

One: The voice of the LORD causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, "Glory!"

Many: Glory! Glory!!

One: The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

Many: Whatever happens, flood or fire, earthquake or windstorm, God will be with us.

One: May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!

All: God help us, whatever may come. God help us and give us peace.