I've just returned from several days at the Outer Banks of North Carolina where the ocean shores provide an exquisite backdrop for reflection and perspective. It was with this experience just behind me that I opened the Book of Psalms to Psalm 104.
Psalm 104 is the poetic version of the 7th UU Principle: "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."
According to the psalm, all the physical features of the earth were created to give just the right environment for each living creature. Animals hunt at night; people work during the day. Food grows for both people and animals. The system feeds and nurtures us all.
"Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it." (Verses 25-26) I saw this as I sat on the beach. Tiny bugs, wiggly jellyfish, pelicans flying overhead, ships passing off shore, children building sand castles beside curious sea gulls, the moon rising bright as a new silver dollar. Humankind part of the web of nature, in harmony.
The psalm declares that God set this all up, and the rhythms of give-and-take are God's rhythms, rhythms of the Spirit. "...when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth." (Verse 29-30)
If you can't get to your favorite nature spot this week, I suggest that you open Psalm 104 and read it slowly, letting the images rise in your mind. As I read it, I see with my inner eye different places that I've visited, both near and far, and I am reminded once again of the awesome power and beauty of the Spirit of Life. I remember that my role is one of steward and protector as well as participant.
"I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;" (Verse 33)
Blessed Be. Amen.