Alpha and Omega Ironwork Gate at a Russia Lutheran SeminaryEven less time this week than last, so I’ll just give a few quick observations and impressions related to Psalm 104.

1. This psalm is used to begin the Vespers (Evening Prayer) service in the Eastern Orthodox churches.  It is known in Orthodox tradition as the Song of Adam, which he sang after being banished from the Garden of Eden.  In the Orthodox Verspers service the priest stands at the closed doors (known as “the Beautiful Gates”) leading to the sanctuary (the portion of the church containing the altar) as the psalm is sung, representing Adam, and by extension all humankind after the Fall.  Interestingly, that makes Psalm 104 – in a sense – a psalm of disorientation for the Orthodox! (I.e., it describes the world as God created it, as God intended it to be, but not the world as we know and experience it now.)

2. Verses 27-28 are often used as a prayer before meals, as in the prayer Martin Luther suggests in his Small Catechism: “The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy all living things with delight.”

3. I love verse 26.  God made the Leviathan (sea monster/whale?) just for the sport of it. What a wonderful image!  Did you ever think of God as creating things just for fun?

And on that uplifting note I will leave you for this week.


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