Reading: Psalm 66:8-20
Verses 8-9: “Praise our God, all peoples… God has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.”
Psalm 66 is a song of praise for what God has done. The first part of the Psalm focuses on the corporate or communal perspective. This is an important perspective to keep. It helps us see, live in, and recognize the bigger picture. While God undoubtedly works in each of our lives, we can see God’s plan unfolding in a different way when we get outside of ourselves and outside of our own story. Imagine if the parting of the sea story or the feeding of the 5,000 story were told from a single perspective and as if that person was the only one there! When we focus only on ourselves then we can miss out on the fuller story of God’s power and might.
In verses 8-9 the psalmist writes, “Praise our God, all peoples… God has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.” This is a call to public and corporate thanksgiving in response to God’s work in the life of the community of faith. The psalmist then recognizes the difficult times in their past and recalls how God led them through. Our temptation can be to withdraw or isolate when we are going through a hard time. We can tend to focus only on ourselves. If, during their time in slavery in Egypt, the Israelites each adopted an “every man or woman for themselves” mentality, then where would’ve they been? They could not have marched out of Egypt one at a time. The collective, the group – it mattered. It still matters.
So the invitation today is to see the larger picture, to live in a space more outside of yourself than inside yourself. May we all realize the power we receive from others and the power we give to others.
Prayer: Lord God, open my eyes to the bigger picture around me. Open my heart to love all those around me. Shrink the selfishness in heart and make more room to love others more fully. Amen.