In the Office: Faithful Transmission

Today’s reading from the Book of Psalms (Psalm 145) is one of many wonderful expressions of praise that we find as we move toward the end of the Bible’s treasury of poems and songs. As such, it is filled with phrases that resonate across the pages of scripture: “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise!” (v. 3) “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (v. 8) “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.” (v. 13)

But one of the things that strikes me about this psalm is the way that it describes a process of “faithful transmission” — in which both “giver” and “receiver” are fully invested — in order to insure that God’s glory and faithfulness are given their proper due. “One generation commends your works to another” the psalmist says:

They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty —
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They speak of the power of your awesome works —
and will proclaim your great deeds. (vs. 5-6)

In other words, it takes both: people who will declare God’s glory and people who will attend fully to the glory declared so that they, in turn, can declare it to others. All of which begs the question: Are we being intentional about our role (or roles) in this vital transmission process? Are we meditating on what we hear from others about God’s goodness and faithfulness, and are we declaring His goodness to others so that they, too, can become a part of an unbroken chain of worship and witness?

The Apostle Paul offers a similar word in one of his letters to Timothy: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). May we be faithful today in our listening and our speaking (and our living) so that God’s glory will be more fully known.

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