(see text below)
Tongue in cheek we mimic the grandiose answers of Miss America Pageant contestants when asked what they want most in this world: “World Peace.” “Elimination of hunger and starvation.” “Justice and fairness in the world.” Throw in care for the orphan and widow, freedom for the unjustly imprisoned, sight for the blind and hope for the weary and we all become grandiose in our wishes for the world. We also begin to understand the generosity of our God!
The Psalmist reminds us that God is the maker and keeper of all, and that God is abundant with help for people in need and hope for a new era on earth. Grandiose? Perhaps. Generous? Without question.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. O God, help us to be happy. Amen.
Psalm 146 (NRSV)
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
Philanthropic Adviser, Luther Seminary
Master of Divinity, 1980