Psalm 103

Bless God, O my soul, and all that is in me
Bless God’s holy name
Bless God and make sure to remember
All that God does for me
God forgives me
God heals me
God redeems me
God crowns me with Her own steadfast love and mercy
God satisfies me with good all my life
God renews me
(And yet, and yet, so often
I feel unworthy
I feel sick
I feel abandoned
I feel unloved
I feel old and worn out
I feel, even, that my faith is but a delusion)
I return to the psalmist who tells me that
God brings vindication and justice to the oppressed
God’s people know God’s ways and acts
God is merciful and gracious
God is slow to anger
God is abounding in steadfast love
And I can claim all, all for myself
This is why the psalmist blesses God’s holy name
(This is what I sometimes do with my whole heart
And sometimes struggle to believe it even a little)
I go back again to the psalmist who tells me more
God will not accuse me
God will not be angry with me
God will not deal with me according to my worst
God will not exact vengeance for my doubts
God’s steadfast love, love for me
Is higher than the heavens
God’s forgetfulness and forgiveness of my worst
Encompasses my whole world
Separates me completely from my failings
(Really? Am I then still me?)

As a parent loves and knows the limits of a child
God loves me and knows my limits
(Though sometimes my fear is not fear of God
But fear that God does not exist)
Ah, but God knows, better than me
That I am but dust
(And you can’t expect too much from dust)
My days are like grass
Once I bloomed strong and bright like a flower
But the wind of my days blows ever faster
My flower droops
The psalmist says, so what
You may fail, but God’s steadfast love
Is from everlasting to everlasting
God’s righteousness is mine to claim
All the days of my life
While I try to keep God’s covenant
And love as God commands me to love
God is sovereign over all
So with saints and angels
Let me bless God
Let me be among those who do God’s bidding
Let me listen to – let me hear – God’s Word
Let me join God’s hosts, God’s ministers, God’s faithful
Let me join that great crowd of witnesses
Let me join the universe, God’s creation
(Oh, please, with the humble peace that passes feeble understanding)
Bless God, O my soul. Amen

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