Psalm 104 ( Paraphrase) The Mighty Partnership

 

A friend in the Netherlands asked me for a suitable version fo Psalm 104 to acknowledge and celebrate  Creation . I sent links for various existing versions, but also this paraphrase. 

A paraphrase  – and there are several well-known Bible versions which fall into this category – is a Bible Reading, with preaching built in.

 

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Loud I shout out; it’s what defines me:

 for all I am speaks highly

of my Leader: God and Guide.

Nobility, integrity-arrayed, as sky-light clothes you,

Immense the skies’ pavilion, taut you pitched

as rafters of your dwelling span the seas,

you drive the rain-clouds

gliding high on wings of wind

that in their turn bear urgent news 

as do your servants, fire and flame.

The Earth, you have enthroned  robustly;

Robed in deepest blue, which in its turn

Stands proud aside  at your rebuke

And when you make the point with thunder

waters shall retreat.

Indeed, the waters, should they rise again,

to threatening levels, over land

will do so not as you require,

who set them in their place, providing space 

for life to thrive.

And in the meantime water gushes

bringing life between the hills,

hydrating wildlife so that even 

wild asses quench their thirst.

And habitats diverse with birds

the choirs of branches green and growing.

We visualise you:  garden-tender of the mountains:

fruitful work that causes Earth to smile.

Grass, growing, ‘cos of you feeds all the cattle;

whilst rooted plants in partnership

enable Earth to nourish us

and gladden human hears with wine

as faces shine with plant-oil,

bread is broken, giving life.

God’s watering of trees is generous 

In Lebanon the cedars which God planted;

trees where small birds build their nests

-the stork’s at home in fir trees.

and habitat for wild goats, up mountain-high

shared :  safe-house for the hyrax.

The moon, you made, defines the  seasons;

Your sun’s aware of time for setting,

relinquishing the light to your  hands:

night is summoned, filled, as humans sleep

exploding  life nocturnal in the forest:

when roading lions young 

shall look to God for prey,

though in their turn, at daybreak take their rest

and lie down in their dens;

the morning shift of people then set out to work

a full-day’s labour, till the work is done.

My God, diversity, abundant, wonder, beauty

all your wisdom’s offspring,

creatures, such as us, and others, 

fill the  whole wide earth:

Yes: over there the great wide sea

which may be measured, never grasped;

more life than we can comprehend;

our ships may come and go,

no more than touch the surface

of  Leviathan’s playground 

law unto themself, for your joy, not our profit.

All this life that looks to you for food 

within due time and season. 

When they harvest what you offer,

from your hand; with good things  they are filled

their life-long.

When you hide your face, distress ensues;

You take away their breath: it’s death

for us and all that’s living;

dust to dust, and so life’s circles turn.

You breathe again, and life, and flesh reborn

adorn the face of Earth made new.

May the wondrous shining love of God endure forever!

God, rejoice in all that’s made!

God, nonetheless, who makes Earth tremor 

God: volcanoes smoke your power!

As for me: here’s what defines me:

singing lifelong, mind and body

gratitude in work and worship:

aiming high for justice in my 

thoughts and deeds and prayers.

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And, all that said, acknowledge: 

unjust choices, God-entrusted:

our extinction is an option if we choose

But  may this define me:

all I am speaks highly

of my Leader: God and Guide.

 

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