January 9th, 2021
Reverend Dr. Peggy L. Meade
Holston Counseling Center
A psalm of David.
1 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion[b] like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks[c]
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Have you ever just sat down and “felt” a thunderstorm? You and I live in one of the most wondrous places on earth for storm watching. The entire Holston Annual Conference runs through the Appalachian Mountain Chain; more correctly put: the Appalachian Mountain Chain runs through us. Personally, I am more partial to the Virginia side but our entire Conference is one of immense beauty created by an Almighty God.
We have the best thunderstorms!
I learned to love thunderstorms by sitting with my dad on the front porch of our old farm house and figuring out when they would reach us. Did you know you can track a thunderstorm in the mountains without fancy weather forecasting? If you’re interested I can teach you how.
I mention this because Psalm 29 describes in poetic beauty the strength and power of a storm and understands that the storm is the voice and power of God. Psalm 29 is described simply as a “Psalm of David.” The purpose, the element, of the Psalm is pure praise. There is no other purpose for the psalm than praise and awe. The psalm repeats the name of the Lord 18 times and uses “the voice of the Lord” 7 times.
I can feel the power of an Appalachian thunderstorm when I read it and every time I get that same sense of joy and awe. I can feel my dad explaining the intricacy of the sounds and sights. I am not afraid and, thanks be to God and my Dad, I have the good sense to sit safely and watch and listen and draw grace from the storms, both of life and weather.
Farmers get to rest and learn when a thunderstorm rises over the Appalachians and so do their daughters and sons.
Don’t be afraid, brothers and sisters…listen to the voice of God, feel the power and majesty of the one who rides high above the clouds, and draws close to their beloved children and teaches us that God is always near and in charge.
We are living through stormy times; the storm was/is never meant to harm us but to remind us of just who is in charge: to provide rest, and education and safety in the arms of the Almighty.
Ascribe to the Lord, give God credit for all the glorious things we are given; Don’t be afraid! You are dearly loved!
Loving Father, you have never failed me in the past and I trust you in the future to be my Stronghold and my peace, for you are my Lord and my God, and I love you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.