Join us for our mid-week reflection in Psalms.
We are reading today from Psalm 104:24-35 (aligned with Year B, Pentecost)
What a wildly wonderful world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.
Oh, look—the deep, wide sea, brimming with fish past counting, sardines and sharks and salmon.
Ships plow those waters, and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.
All the creatures look expectantly to you to give them their meals on time.
You come, and they gather around; you open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your back, they’d die in a minute—Take back your Spirit and they die, revert to original mud;
Send out your Spirit and they spring to life— the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.
31-32 The glory of God—let it last forever!
Let God enjoy his creation!
He takes one look at earth and triggers an earthquake, points a finger at the mountains, and volcanoes erupt.
33-35 Oh, let me sing to God all my life long, sing hymns to my God as long as I live!
Oh, let my song please him;
I’m so pleased to be singing to God.
But clear the ground of sinners— no more godless men and women!
O my soul, bless God!
Pentecost is a special time for us to reflect on and celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers. In Acts, when we read about the Pentecost moment, we read about people, gathered from all over the world, who were amazed at hearing the expression of the wonders of God in their own languages.
My favourite part of the Pentecost moment is that it is an outward declaration: rather than an invitation to come into something, it is an outward step into the language of the people who were present. A lot of the time, we forget the miracle – and practical example – of the Pentecost moment: we invite people in, we pull them into a culture and a language that is foreign to them, in order to access the Good News. When we think about *intergenerational* ministry, we often think about ages: making sure that we are factoring in the different age groups and correlating abilities… I am wondering, as I read this Psalm and contemplate the miracle of Pentecost, whether we ever think interculturally, when we think intergenerationally…
The people gathered in Jerusalem from all over the world heard the glory of God proclaimed in their own language – what does the glory of God sound like, proclaimed in the language and culture of a 15 year old? What does it sound like in the language and culture of a 45 year old?
I think its an important place to pause, and to reflect on whose voices we are centring, and how we are doing that, as we think about intergenerational proclamation of the glory of God. Thinking about the principles of intercultural ministry – of using the voices and expertise and lived experience of the people group, in order to appropriately contextualise the Good News _into_ a culture – these are the tools of intergenerational ministry too.
So, I want us to have a conversation: how do we find and listen to children, and young people, and indigenous people, and people living with disabilities, and neurodiverse humans, and the myriad cultures and contexts? How do we find ways to mute our own voices and actually encourage and boost these voices to declare the glory of God?I want to hear your thoughts!