God everlasting, at your word
the hills in splendour rise;
they overshadow human life
whose glory swiftly dies.
Our days like dreams come to an end,
our story soon is told
when strength is spent, and beauty fades,
and bodies have grown old.
Teach us, good Lord, to count our days,
to cherish every hour;
to seek your will, to do your work,
and trust your mighty power.
Lord, at your hand we have received
the cup of joy and pain:
pour out the fulness of your grace
and we shall sing again!
After Psalm 90, David Mowbray (born 1938)
© David Mowbray/Jubilate Hymns
You can hear the tune suggested, Orphan Girl, here https://www.jubilate.co.uk/songs/god_everlasting_at_your_word
Trying to use words when it comes to God can start with a single one but will quite soon spiral into thousands. Questions, clarifications, exceptions, all pile on to single words, and a theology degree will only give you a rough idea of the libraries that have been written. Though they are fallible, words about God do help. We may not be able to argue another person into accepting God’s existence, but hopefully we will at least have a rough grasp of what we believe and through us they may perceive the possibility. A possibility that can weave together experiences, images, feelings before any words are expressed.
A rephrasing of the Psalm:
God is eternal. Since time began, before it existed, and in whatever unknown future; God was, is, and shall be.
All of life is held within God. All life, from the simplest to complex, is energised by God. All of Creation, from quantum to galaxy, is encompassed within God. All of time, past, present and future, is beheld by God.
What are our lives but a blink of God’s eye? Fifty generations pass in a night. Like dew-soaked grass that turns brown when you look away.
Our inability to truly comprehend the mind of God traps us in fear and shame. Our imperfect lives are scorched by the perfection of God’s presence.
Human life is a struggle if we focus inwards rather than outwards in God. It begins with a cry and ends with a whimper.
However long our life may be, our days are filled with work and worry. They quickly come to an end and we disappear from sight.
So contemplate the nature of God and seek to emulate it. Stand in awe before God and embrace your unknowing. Make your days’ count, and strive after wisdom.
in the complexity and intricacy of the universe and life,
we can be drawn into your presence.
Help us to contemplate your nature.
Inspire and encourage us to emulate it.
As we stand in awe before you,
give us the courage to embrace our unknowing.
May our actions, words and character draw others to you.