The response for today's psalm sounds ominous - The Lord comes to judge the earth. A statement that seems to be very much in line with the judgment the world faces, as outlined in our readings last week and this week, from the Book of Revelation.
But then you continue to read and pray with the segments of Psalm 96 that we use in today's mass - we hear of praises of God, and calls for all people, all creatures and creation to give praise. What's happening here?
As I have said many times from the pulpit, context, context, context. So, dear reader, pick up your Bible. Turn to the Book of Psalms, and find Psalm 96. Read it. And then read Psalms 97, 98 and 99. What we see is a collection of 4 Psalms of praise of the Kingly aspects of our God.
Today's psalm speaks of the glories of the Lord, the King of the Universe. Psalm 97 speaks of the Divine King, the Just Just Judge of all. Psalm 98 speaks of the Lord, the victorious King and Just Judge. An d99 speaks of the Lord the Holy King.
These 4 psalms together give us insights into our God. The God who created all. And that all of this creation, both animate and inanimate is called to praise God. God is Holy, God is Righteous, and God is Just. And yes, the at just God will judge. This certainly echoes what we heard in this past Sunday's parable of the sheep and goats from Matthew 25.
God creates. God is Holy. God is just. And the list keeps going on and on.
How great is our God!