United Church of Christ

Living Psalm 99 - Pentecost 20 A

Living Psalms Book

Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.

 

Living Psalm 99—Pentecost 20 A

For One Voice:

The Divine is a tree; greatest tree in the forest!
Older than me, without doubt;
older than grandmama!
Tree sits on fertile earth, feathered with needles so deep and soft
that I lay me down beneath you.
Let all praise your presence among us.
Holy are you, O Divine!

Majestic Tree, you are great among living things—
you teach us how to hold ourselves upright in the onslaught of daily challenge.
Tectonic plates have not moved you;
tides have not pulled you loose;
fires have lapped your bark but not left you ash.

We will hug your trunk, even if we become a cliché;
we will cherish your sibling flora and fauna.
Holy are you!

Our ancestors breathed the oxygen you offer;
they cherished your shade and wept upon your roots,
and you sheltered them.
You have taken many forms
and we have made you many metaphors:
you have been fortress and king,
mother hen and careful shepherd;
and my family has followed you the best we’re able.

Great Tree you call me now to love your earth,
to tend your saplings, even though I’ve failed for so long.
And I will show my love for you in creation justice.
For you, O Tree, are sacred.

Responsive

The Divine is a tree; greatest tree in the forest!
Older than me, without doubt; older than grandmama!
Tree sits on fertile earth, feathered with needles so deep and soft
that I lay me down beneath you.
Let all praise your presence among us.
Holy are you, O Divine!

Majestic Tree, you are great among living things—
you teach us how to hold ourselves upright in the onslaught of daily challenge.
Tectonic plates have not moved you; tides have not pulled you loose;
fires have lapped your bark but not left you ash.
We will hug your trunk, even if we become a cliché;
we will cherish your sibling flora and fauna.
Holy are you!

Our ancestors breathed the oxygen you offer;
they cherished your shade and wept upon your roots, and you sheltered them.
You have taken many forms and we have made you many metaphors:
you have been fortress and king, mother hen and careful shepherd;
and my family has followed you the best we’re able.

Great Tree you call me now to love your earth,
to tend your saplings, even though I’ve failed for so long.
And I will show my love for you in creation justice.
For you, O Tree, are sacred.

 

Living Psalm 99,  for Pentecost 20 A  was written by Sharon Benton.

Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community. 

Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and  thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.

© Copyright 2020 Sharon Benton.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

Download the RTF 


Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. If you have any questions, contact us.