Psalm 97, reinterpreted
Deborah Beach Giordano
© April 29, 2010
When God is in charge,
the earth rejoices,
and the coastlines are filled with glee;
there is no thick darkness around them,
no sludge of oil blackens their sands
or suffocates the sea creatures.
The sun does not burn by day,
but sets the horizon aflame
with divine colorations at dawn and dusk.
Bolts of lightning illuminate the night
and humans gasp in fear,
perceiving our weakness.
The mountains melt in God’s presence,
like maidens swooning
at the sight of their beloved.
The stars proclaim the Holy Name;
deciphered by a rare few:
Glorious, Wonderful, Limitless …
Those who worship mere things
are embarrassed by their paltry idols,
powerless and devoid of all potential.
God’s people rejoice everywhere
giving heartfelt thanks and deep praise
for the gift of holy wisdom.
For you, O Gracious One,
will have the last Word;
the promise of love and mercy.
God delights in our acts of kindness;
and leads us along the path of peace,
to shelter us from evil.
Radiant goodness surrounds us,
enlightening our understanding,
and uplifting our spirits.
Celebrate the Creator, all you who live;
give thanks for the divine and holy one,
whose nature is to love and forgive!
Psalm 97, NRSV
God is king! Let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
and consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before God,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
and all the peoples behold his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
those who make their boast in worthless idols;
all gods bow down before him.
Zion hears and is glad,
and the towns of Judah rejoice,
because of your judgments, O God.
For you, O God, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
God loves those who hate evil;
he guards the lives of his faithful;
he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
Light dawns for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in God, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!