The sound of many waters
May 15, 2021
The waters have lifted up, O LORD,
the waters have lifted up their voice; *
the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the sound of many waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea, *
mightier is the LORD who dwells on high. – Psalm 93:4-5
On this Saturday two days after Ascension Day, we have a choice of two psalms. One is Psalm 47, long associated with the Ascension, especially because of verse 5, “God has gone up with a shout.” Both that psalm and Psalm 93 are exuberant hymns of praise.
I love the poetry of Psalm 93, the idea that the waters themselves are lifting up their voice God. Not only do we humans sing our praise, but we are joined by the waters. But even the crashing waves of the ocean are not as mighty as the Lord on high.
We used to get to Maine quite a bit. Sitting on those old rocks watching the waves crash as they have for countless generations, one sees of the vastness of the world and the insignificance of one’s own lifetime. I ponder those waves as voices of praise, voices which are bigger than my imagining and yet tiny compared with the mightiness of God.
It’s fitting to shout praise to God as we bask in the wonder of the Ascension. Having ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father, Christ Jesus is our mediator and advocate. And yet, he has not abandoned us, having promised to send the Spirit to abide with us.
After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples “returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God” (Luke 24:52-53). Instead of being sad that their teacher had departed, they were able to see the majesty of Jesus’ ascension. Jesus would no longer be physically with them, but he would be their advocate with the Father. Christ’s return to the Father meant that they too could be sure that one day they could dwell in eternal glory. That’s an astounding reality.
What if we were so quick to celebrate, to bless, and to worship? What if we could tell the whole story of the Word made flesh who taught us, who showed us who God is, who died for us, who opened the gates of heaven in his resurrection, who dwells with his Father now, and who will come again in glory?
We might find, if we were filled with that kind of adoration, that we would be joining the chorus of pounding waves lifting their voices to God.