The Heavens Declare (from Psalm 19)


The heavens declare the glory of God.
The blue bellows your name;
celestial stars bursting into flame.
They gladly proclaim your perfect goodness.
Rainy teardrops speak of the cross, reminding me
Your hands, which formed the world, were drenched in blood for me.
When the sun soars in the sky, it sings your sovereignty;
when the moon moves over the ocean, it murmurs your emotions,
and I know you’re there for me;
and I hear it in everything.
The world will one day know what we see clearly:
The reality of your reign, the centrality of your Son.
The clouds, the expanse of sky, encircle the sun, like a tent for the day.
Like a lover’s face, awoken to wed, warm rays run round the world rejoicing,
drenching the darkest districts with light, as your love seeks the lowly, trapped in night;
as you pursue me when I run.

Your word waters my wasted want;
your sworn oath makes me wise;
your rules rejoice my wandering heart;
your commands enlighten my eyes;
to crave you makes me clean; to fear you unfesters me.
Your rules are true and right,
like dripping drops of desirable honey;
better than limitless sums of money;
By them, my master warns me.
To remain in them rewards me.

But how can I know all the wrong that I do, and think, and say?
Absolve me of what I cannot see.
Prevent my passions from leading me astray,
from plunging me into prideful disease;
For when I surrender to slavehood, to sonhood,
is when I am found to be free,
when I am crowned and am clean,
clothed with your blood-bought dignity.

Let the words that you wrote turn my all back to you so I do, and think, and say
only what gives gladness to your grace,
what brings favor from your face,
for you are my constant covenant-keeper;
the steady stone to sink my burdens, find my rest;
my ready redeemer, breathing resurrection.


Taken from the 2019 edition of Artos, the literary journal of Bethlehem College & Seminary students.