The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. – Psalm 50:1 (NRSV)
I don’t believe that nonsense about some big difference between the “judgmental” God of the Old Testament and the “loving” God of the New Testament. But if I did, I would assume the reason for the OT God’s grumpiness is the line above from Psalm 50. Apparently, it’s God’s job to wake up the whole entire ding-dang world every morning.
I’m only responsible for waking up two of the four members of my household, but most days that experience is more than enough to make me sore wroth. I wonder how many chipper summonses God is willing to deliver each morning before it all devolves into hollering and threats. Does the earth have a sticker chart to track how many mornings the earth manages to get up and do all its stuff without trouble? Has God ever had to apologize later for what God said to the world in the car on the way to drop-off?
Or. Maybe it’s not that kind of summons. Maybe it’s more like an invitation. “Listen, you can stay in bed all day if you want to, but the rest of us are leaving for the water park in ten minutes.” Maybe the way God does it, it’s not “hurry up or you’re going to be late again” but something more like, “Everybody, you’ve got to see this!” Less blaring alarm clock and more lover whispering in your ear. Less a demand to rise and drudge, and more in invitation to revive and delight.
Honestly, that sounds like the God I know from every testament I’ve ever read.
Morning by morning, new mercies I see. Thank you. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is Chaplain of the Protestant Cooperative Ministry at Cornell University. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.