Psalm 114

This psalm voices an astonishing insight from the psalmist’s intu-
ition. As has been confirmed repeatedly by ongoing history and
science, humanity and the rest of creation are intricately intercon-
nected with each other. It’s an actual fact, as well as a poetic one, that
we affect the rest of creation and creation affects us.

During the stay-at-home months of the Coronavirus pandemic,
vehicle traffic sharply declined, and the smoggy skies of large cities
began to clear. The gaping hole in the ozone layer closed somewhat.
City-dwellers heard birdsongs they had not often heard before. We
witnessed our interdependence with and our effect on nature.

Psalm 114 describes that interdependence by saying that, when
God delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery, nature
responded: the Red Sea and the Jordan River parted to enable Israel’s
journeys of freedom toward promise. Mountains and hills skipped
like rams and lambs as they participated in the joy of liberation.

The psalmist envisions that all of creation can be in partnership with God: Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the LORD (v. 7). We usually think of trembling as a reaction rooted in fear, but it can be, instead, the response of reverent astonishment, rising from awe and wonder at the majesty of God’s freeing and restoring power. Tremblingly and joyfully, we work with God for the flourishing of all things and everyone. We care for the earth and its creatures as ways of loving God and our neighbors as ourselves.


You affect everyone and everything around you, whether you intend to or not. How might you more consciously and gladly let that awareness shape the decisions you make and the actions you take?


Holy One, as I live this day, open my eyes to see and my heart to feel the many ways I’m intertwined with you, all things, and everyone. Cause that awareness of this intertwining to inspire me to wider love and more thoughtful action. Amen.

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