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PSALM OF SIMPLE BELIEF

In the 1980s, Dr David Jenkins, newly appointed Bishop of Durham, England, but previously a well-known, theological professor and teacher, was challenged to put the Gospel into "words of one syllable." He said that you cannot do much about the name "Jesus" which has two syllables, but otherwise he could put it in 13 words. The refrain of this psalm takes up his words.

 

  1. God you are truth, and I need to find the truth:
     I want to face things as they really are;
     
  2. you are love, and you come to meet us:
     we are caught up in your love that embraces everything.
     
  3. For your goodness brings us so much to enjoy:
     the initiative comes from the other side;
     
  4. your glory I see in other people:
     in music and art, in silence and beauty, your grace shines bright.
     
  5. This real world offers so much from you:
     there is promise of good in all things,
     
  6. help me see and enjoy more and more of it:
     so I can share in the sharing of God.
     
  7. For I believe that God is:
     that is all there is to be said.

     
  8. God is as Jesus shows us:
     and therefore there is hope.

     
     
  9. The story of the Bible reveals your wonders:
     through its patterns I learn of your goodness.
     
  10. In Jesus I meet your presence:
     I encounter your call to me, as I read your word.
     
  11. So I come to know you as God:
     you are the power of justice, love and holiness.
     
  12. But all do not share in this faith:
     for God is not revealed to us all without shadow of doubting,
     
  13. we still look for everything to be made clear:
     in the future, your kingdom will come in its fullness.
     
  14. So shall we believe that God is:
     that will be all we need to affirm.

     
  15. God is as Jesus shows us:
     and therefore there is hope.

     
     
  16. God the Father is greater than great:
     you are before and beyond everything that is.
     
  17. God the Son is more loving than love:
     you are with us and beside us in all our relationships.
     
  18. The Spirit is God closer than close:
     you are in us and around us in everything that happens.
     
  19. In all, you are God of the universe:
     the same God, revealing your love in all the earth.
     
  20. Yet the universe is interpreted by science:
     how can we have faith in the midst of randomness? -
     
  21. and religion is contradicted by religion:
     how can we find love in the fight for orthodoxy?
     
  22. Perhaps this God is committed to risk:
     in Jesus you were open to suffering love,
     
  23. so you are with me in all that befalls me:
     in my confusion I can follow your lead.
     
  24. I believe that you are here:
     that is all I need to know.

     
  25. You are always at my side:
     so the struggle of life is worth it.

     
     
  26. Pictures from space show our planet is limited:
     if we waste our resources this world cannot survive.
     
  27. Television shows us our peoples are divided:
     barbed wire keeps the affluent away from the poor.
     
  28. Under threat of nuclear destruction what will our God do:
     will you stop us exploding the earth by working a miracle?
     
  29. Or perhaps you will save us with a miracle of patience:
     as more of us are growing older, we may learn to be more tolerant?
     
  30. So the pressures around us may lead us to hope:
     under God there is always time, another five minutes to midnight;
     
  31. while love and justice can grow with endurance:
     for you share our dreams of future possibilities.
     
  32. We believe that God is:
     that is all we need to affirm.

     
  33. God is always on our side:
     so the struggle of life is worth it.

     
     
  34. To refuse to love is to give way to apathy:
     if people do not care, no improvement is possible.
     
  35. But there's no need to despair of everything:
     we can always find glimpses of glory.
     
  36. We can learn to follow what light we have:
     and earnestly pray for more.
     
  37. Anything we do is a risk:
     but women and men are of infinite worth,
     
  38. for loving each other is possible, humanity can flourish:
     in spite of our everyday problems, all our living is worth it!
     
  39. We believe that God is:
     that is all we need to say.

     
  40. God is as Jesus shows us:
     and therefore there is hope.