“O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties, Above the fruited plain!” I thought of these lyrics as Leslie and I chugged our way on the Empire Builder across the plains of North Dakota and Montana until we arrived at East Glacier Park. And what we saw there was awe inspiring! Truly majestic! Beautiful in splendor and magnificence!
We took this trip to mark our 40th Wedding Anniversary. I stretch the truth a wee bit when I say Glacier National Park was a compromise between an Alaskan Cruise and a desire to sun on the beaches in the Virgin Islands.
The path of the Amtrak we traveled on passed right by Rugby, North Dakota. The significance you ask? That is Naomi Rislow’s hometown. And as we passed by Leslie texted Naomi letting her know we paid appropriate homage.
The entire trip was wonderful with many memorable highlights. But easily the most memorable experience was our close encounter with a Moose. Well actually it was two Moose, a mother cow and her young calf. And yes, the plural of Moose is Moose, and not Meese. And yet the plural of Goose is Geese. Go figure the English language… This particular pair of Moose was insistent on using the hiking path we were on. They persisted. We yielded. You need to ask Leslie about the experience!
I share this with you because I am having trouble coming home from this vacation, so I thought I would bring it back with me and see if I could make hay with it. So let me match our experience of God’s creation with a Psalm. “From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. … The high mountains are for the wild goats; … You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about. … In wisdom you have made them all.” (Psalms 104:13,18,20,24)
Since You Asked…
Why do we stand during the reading of the Gospel Lesson?
What is the purpose of the Psalm Reading? And why do we often sing (chant) the Psalm?
“The appointed psalm is sung as a meditation on the First Lesson, a response to it, and a bridge to the Second Lesson. … Hearers of the lessons need a chance to assimilate the First Lesson before the Second Lesson begins. The required use of a psalm between the lessons provides for the restoration of psalm singing to its traditional place in the life of the church and gives the worshiper the opportunity to participate in the singing (or reading) of a portion of Scripture…” (from “Manual on the Liturgy” companion to the LBW, from Augsburg Pub.)