It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Over All the Earth Psalm 47

This week, we read Luke's accounts of the ascension. In Acts, the resurrected Jesus was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight. In the gospel, he was carried up into heaven.

In the accounts of the ascension, we can hear echoes to this psalm--God has gone up with a shout. ("Gone up" anyway, but I'm not so sure about the "shout").

Walter Breuggemann discusses this psalm in Texts for Preaching:

When we say of Jesus in the creed, "He ascended into heaven," in the first instance this is the language of ritual enthronement and coronation. What is claimed substantively, politically, theologically is first asserted dramatically and liturgically.
In the psalm, the congregation is called to sing praises to the King, and the King is identified as God, the great king over all the earth, God, the king over the nations. 

Clap your hands, all you peoples;
Shout to God with loud songs of joy (1).
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
Sing praises to our King, sing praises(6).
For God is king over the nations... (7).
Think about the "all the earth" and "king over the nations" assertions. People who have not formally entered into our community are being cared for by God. As we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, we are recognizing that the care of Jesus extends far beyond the small circle of disciples at his death but, instead, is world-wide.

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