This article was originally published by The Mennonite

An illustrated Autumn psalm

I spent this weekend at Rock Cut State Park (Ill.) with a few other men from Living Water on a fall retreat. It was a beautiful weekend and the autumn colors were out in all their splendor. During one of our quiet times together, we read a psalm from Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merril. Her book is a interpretive translation of the Psalms. I hand’t read it before, but I was immediately struck by the images she used and how they fit with what I saw around me. Here is Psalm 96, interpreted by Merril, illustrated with photos I took on Saturday:

Psalm 96

O Sing to the Cosmos a new song

sing to the Beloved, all the earth!

Sing to the Creator, and bless the Name

above all names

sing praises to the Glorious One

from day to day.

Declare the splendor of the Radiant One

to all the nations

the marvelous works of Love

to all peoples!

For great is the Beloved, and greatly

to be praised;

reverence Love above all else.

For where your thoughts are,

reveals that which you treasure

seek only the true Treasure.


Truth and integrity live with Love;

strength and beauty dwell

with the Beloved

Yield to Love, O families of the earth,

yield to Love glory and strength!

Yield to Love and learn of justice;

make of yourselves an offering

and be guided by Love!

Bow down in adoration and holiness

for worthy is the Beloved to be

praised in all the earth!

The creator of the Cosmos reigns!

Yes, the world has been created,

gift to all generations

let truth and justice give birth

to peace and harmony

Let the heavens be glad, and let

the earth rejoice

let the seas roar, and all

that fills them;

let the fields, exult, and

everything in them!

Then shall the trees of the wood

sing for joy

before the coming of the Beloved,

who reigns in glory!

For through Love will come truth

and justice

offering all the people gifts

of new Life.

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