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Psalms Now: Psalm 19

June 29, 2021
By Paul Emmel
Scale weighing justice and mercy
The Blue Angels in flight over LaCrosse, Wisconsin, May 29, 2021
"Reflections of divine splendor... God's voice can be heard."


Where I am, wherever I go,
I can sense something of the power of God.
The grandeur of the mountains,
the vastness of the oceans,
the breathtaking wonder of interstellar space;
all this proclaims the glory and majesty of God.
Even amid the clutter of our cities,
built and abused by our hands,
there are reflections of divine splendor.
God's voice can be heard.
He makes His presence known throughout the world.
Cascade Mountain, Banff, Canada, as viewed from our hotel room balcony in October 2008 "The grandeur of the mountains proclaims ...the glory and majesty of God"


God has made a path on which we are to walk.
In His will there is order and purpose.
He has proclaimed and demonstrated eternal truth
through the lips and lives of His children.
There are set before men and women precepts
and principles that direct God's creatures
in the way of peace and joy.
He has given meaning to life,
goals and objectives to this existence.
Therein is the answer to our inner need,
the fulfillment of our deepest longings.
These things are more precious and of greater
value than anything we could ever experience
or even dare to imagine.
"Love" sculpture at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Minneapolis


This is the course which I must travel.
It is not easy; I make so many mistakes.
Faults and obsessions plague me.
O God,forbid that these should destroy me.
Set me free from their tenacious hold.
Encompass me with Your love and grace
that these things may not stand
between You and me.
O God, these are the thoughts
that crowd my heart today.
Accept them and respond to them.
Enable me to realize anew
the security and serenity
of Your loving presence in my life.

Psalm 19 paraphrased from Psalms Now by Leslie F. Brandt (Concordia: 1974)

Note on Psalm 19: It is much easier to see the hand of God in the works of nature than it is to see His handiwork among people. Still, in faith that He gives, we can see His rich diversity among others, even with all their human faults. People are purposed to reflect the security and loving presence of God among their fellow creatures. In Christ, that is our calling and identity. Despite our failings, this is our purpose possible only through His love and grace.

Paul Emmel

Rowleys Bay, Door County, Wisconsin
June 27, 2021
The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost


Paul EmmelPaul Emmel is a retired pastor in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, having served as a parish pastor, a correctional chaplain for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and a hospital chaplain and a community counselor. As a retired pastor, Paul continues to serve the Lord and His people, including establishing the Minnesota South District’s “Pastors to Prisoners” ministry.