Let the nations be glad and sing for joy.
Friend to Friend
I’m obsessed with gymnastics and figure skating. Obsessed. For two weeks, every four years. You know… like everyone else in America… when the Winter Olympics games come around. Pour me a bowl of Wheaties, hand me a flag with stars and stripes, and let’s get it on! Stick that landing! Land that triple salchow! You got this! USA! USA! USA!
And you can’t miss the opening ceremonies!
There’s just a beyond-ness to them! Bright colors. Epic music. Intricate costumes.
Athletes from every nation, coming together in harmony. The pride of each country celebrating their unique heritages, while at the same time vibrantly displaying the beauty of humanity that binds us all together.
Songs are sung, dances are danced, and joy rises to a climax as a well-traveled, flaming stick enters the arena. Eyes from all across the globe watch in wonder as the Olympic Torch ignites. The world melts together. One people. One celebration. A big ole’ global party.
And it feels right to love each other. To look beyond politics, religion, race and culture. To honor each life as valuable. To see and celebrate a different kind of beautiful.
But voices of division yell loud as I watch the news.
Differences spark flames of contention in conversations on social media, and fear tells us to look straight ahead, stick to what we know, and stay with our own.
And it feels wrong to spew venom and wound each other. To allow chains of politics, religion, race and culture to choke us into ungodly bondage that keeps us from His grace and perfect will. To keep us from living love – from reaching out – from coming together at the foot of the cross.
Psalm 67 calls for worship among all the nations. A prelude of sorts to the New Testament’s Great Commission, these verses invite all of humanity to gather around the Eternal Flame in praise. Red, brown, yellow, black and white. Vibrant beauty.
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
2 that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
All the peoples.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
6 The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
A big ole’ God party, celebrating the One who rides on the very clouds He spoke into existence. Our personal, loving Savior who heals the brokenhearted, cares for the widows and wounded, and rescues the orphaned and abandoned.
7 God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!
This is your invitation to a grand, global celebration. Sing a new song. A song of praise. Let it rise to the Maker of all the peoples – to the One who’s got the whole world in His hands.
Extend your hands and expand your heart beyond division… beyond that which seeks to limit God’s love, grace and power to save.
And worship wholeheartedly right where you are. I’m singing right beside you.
Holy Father, Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Bind me to Your grace and help me to love well. Give me eyes to see beyond differences, and courage to speak life.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
More from the Girlfriends
Life hits hard sometimes. The GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast can help soften the blow.
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