Looking back

Looking back

Author: Joan Harman
September 23, 2021

PSALM 90    Looking back

There is a devotional practice I've mentioned previously where you spend times during the year reading and thinking about the age you will be on your next birthday and study the Psalm corresponding to that number.   That practice puts me at 90.  My plan now is to do 3 contemplations of Ps. 90 between now and then.

This week I will expand on my experience with this psalm in my past.

vs. 1 Lord our dwelling place.....In Ezekiel 11:16 God tells Ezekiel to comfort the people in exile that God will always be with them, wherever they are.  I think I always believed that I would always have God, because I am God's child.  Since always is a long time, that assurance involves a lot of iterations in my life.  As I aged, I became less sure of the small details of that even as I still accepted the over-arching idea of Emmanuel, God with Us.

vs. 2 This is the creation story I believe.  God, the creator, WAS before God's product, the creation.

vs. 4 God’s time is not our time. One basis of time in my lifetime was second, and another basis was the 24-hour day, a solar basis. I had one farmer friend who refused to observe Daylight Savings Time, and I came to find out some governing bodies have ruled again DST.  Given that, I also found it easy to believe God's time is not based on the same clock and calendar.

vs. 5-6 I remember trying to do a series of watercolors about hay and grain stalks, fresh hay in the morning dew and brown and dry after a day of being chopped and stacked by our Amish neighbors.

vs. 10 When I turned 70, I began to take this psalm seriously, but it was only after passing 80 that I began to read the words and writings by Joan Erickson and Kathleen Dowling Singh.

In my early church experience we sang from the Psalter weekly, but today the only song I remember is from 90: 10....I’ll Fly Away.  And that's from another Christian background, not my childhood church.  This song is one of the favorites of a niece who was twice widowed by age 50, and she chose that song to be used in worship at each partner's funeral.

vs. 14   I'm one of the ones who doesn't doubt God's power.  My doubts and changing opinions over the years have been more about how God uses God's powers.  By the time I began to comprehend the full darkness of sin and willful harmful behavior, I was associated with denominations that had a theological construct of God's mercy.

And here we are as UMC Christians who follow John Wesley's thinking of prevenient grace.   Thanks be to God
Blessings,
Joan K. Harman <><<><
 joanharmank@gmail.com


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