I’ve been celebrating this week. Through these fall months, I’ve been taking an online continuing education course titled “Created to be Creative.” (Read Part 1 here) This most recent session we read through Psalm 19 and discussed how both the psalmist and creation itself modeled creativity. What stood out most to me was the celebration throughout the text. There was this celebratory joy permeating through the Psalm no matter what translation we read.
The translation that had me most filled with laughter and joy was from The Message translation.
Psalm 19 The Message (MSG)
19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of dangerThe Message (MSG)
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
Celebrating God’s Glory
In verses 1-9, all of creation celebrates God’s glory. There is this warm and joyous feel to all the world participating in God’s creative power. I love the idea that God’s Word vaults across the sky.
Like all of creation, every tree and every rock and the sun in the sky are proclaiming God’s abundant life throughout creation.
You can’t really get better than that!
The language used in this translation fills us with laughter and joy in our celebrating. As my classmate read these words aloud, the rest of us in our group couldn’t hold back our giggles. God’s reputation, who God is in the world and in our lives is greater and better than we can even imagine.
So I’ve been spending my morning listening to the birds in the nest outside my window. And I’ve been watching as the sun comes up over the trees. Because of this psalmists celebratory language, I’ve been finding myself celebrating in God’s creation today.
O God, my Altar-Rock
Since I’ve been celebrating, I hope you too can find some time today, this week, to celebrate God’s good creation as we lift our prayers, our worries, and our joys to the One who is our rock.
So I’ll be going on my way, humming “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang.
What are ways that you celebrate God’s creation? And how might God’s Word vault into your life today?