Last night at evening prayer service there was a phrase in the Psalm reading (Psalm 66:8-20) that has lingered with me throughout the night. Verse 12 ends with the words… “yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.” There are other translations of the Hebrew such as abundance, wealth or fulfillment but the NRSV translates it as “a spacious place.” I soon discovered that the phrase is also used in Psalm 18:19 which reads: “He brought me into a spacious place, he rescued me because he delighted in me” and Psalm 31:8 which, “You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.”
Rev. Kathy Dain (Former Executive Director of Beth-El and good friend of Pine Shores) is now serving at the Kinross Parish Church (between Edinburgh and Perth). I joined her this past week in worship and through the images she shared there was a sense of their place being spacious — sheep, pastures, winding rivers flowing throughout the landscape and wild flowers blooming graciously. I found myself yearning for a “spacious place” to live and move and have my being.
I am mindful that the geography of Scotland is very different than ours but I am also aware that it’s not just about a spacious geography. The Psalmist wants us to know that there is a spacious place for us to set our feet upon, a place of opportunity and possibility. Perhaps it’s a sense of tightness (being so closed-in) that we’ve experienced over the past few months that a spacious place resonates so deeply. The Psalmist affirms that there is ample room in a spacious place to learn, grow and explore, to try new things, to sing new songs, to give up old ways and patterns. It is a place to be refreshed. It is a place to freely breathe. Set your feet there. It’s God gift to us.
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
What have you learned during this time?
How is God providing you with the blessing of abundance?
In the midst of this time of distancing what have you been able to give to others?
Holy God, set my feet on a spacious place so that I can sing a new song and reap bountifully the blessings you offer. Keep me open to new possibilities to learn, grow and explore that come from this “season.” Let me breathe freely. Amen.
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