Reading: Psalm 29

Reflection: Tomorrow, we remember the baptism of Jesus. This story, which is told very dramatically in some of the Gospels, gives us a glimpse of God’s perspective on Jesus. In this moment, which marked the start of Jesus’ ministry, the voice of God was a significant feature. It must have been deeply encouraging and strengthening for Jesus to hear God say that God was pleased with him, and to experience the Holy Spirit’s presence so clearly. Today’s Psalm celebrates the voice of God. God’s voice is powerful and majestic, bringing joy to the mountains and making the wilderness quake. The images of God’s voice influencing creation are powerful and dramatic.

Yet, as the Psalm ends, it’s this same God who strengthens and brings peace to God’s people. The point in this Psalm is not to explain natural phenomena as being specifically controlled by God’s command. Rather, it’s about showing the creative and life-giving power of God’s word. In the same way that God’s voice strengthened Jesus for his ministry, so God’s voice encourages and inspires us, if we will let it. This doesn’t mean that we will hear God’s voice audibly, but that God’s voice speaks to us through the world around us, and within our hearts. How can you allow God’s voice to strengthen you today?

Practice for Today: If we think of prayer as a conversation with God – which is really what it is – then, as we bring our requests to God, we are also opening ourselves to hear God’s voice in response. Today, as you pray for yourself and others, allow time for God’s voice to speak in your heart, through other people, or through creation.

Prayer for Today: As I bring my requests to you, O God, so I wait to hear your voice.