Background. At the end of Psalm 103 we finish its journey from the individual to the community to all of creation. The Psalmist sees us as part of an increasing complexity of existence because we are loved by God and part of his creation. But this isn’t just a passive belonging, but an active choice to join in the choir of creation singing God’s praises and to join God’s work force bringing his will to life. It isn’t as much an individual relationship with God, but a joining with all that is God and from God and that is what is eternal.
Reading Psalm 103:19-22 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, obedient to his spoken word. Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will. Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Reflection We are told that Jesus is our personal savior, that he would have sacrificed himself just for us. We can think of eternal life as a continued existence as an individual loved by God. But in the time of Psalms, this idea of continued individual existence wasn’t common and God’s promise was for the community. Imagine for a moment that you were not given a promise of eternal-life, of salvation from death- would you still follow God? Would your day to day actions as a Christian change? I don’t ask this for the purpose of devaluing the unbreakable permanent individual relationship with God that is inherent in the Christian faith! But only for the opportunity to appreciate the additional foundation of our connection to God as a community here and now. This is a gift the Psalms can give us.