Psalm 131 

Song of Quiet Trust


A Song of Ascents. Of David.

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,

    my eyes are not raised too high;

I do not occupy myself with things

    too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

    like a weaned child with its mother;

    my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord

    from this time on and forevermore.

Old Lutheran,, is a great resource for Lutheran shirts and gifts. You can find anything Lutheran there, including a Martin Luther bobblehead doll!

One of the shirts on the site used to have the statement “Proud Lutheran, but not too proud!”

Humility, keeping your head down, remembering God is God and you and I are not.

This psalm is one of the ascent psalms, sung while coming up the mountain to the Temple in Jerusalem. The worshipers were encouraged to come into God’s presence with humility and appreciation.

To encourage this right mindset, the steps that led up to the entrance of the Temple were made uneven on purpose. To climb the steps, you need to keep your head down, with your eyes “not raised too high.” 

In Bethlehem, just a few short miles from Jerusalem, the Church of the Nativity, built over the spot believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, is entered through the Door of Humility. One must bow down as he or she enters the church structure.

As we begin worship, we often begin with confession and forgiveness. We go through the Lutheran calisthenics of standing as we begin, then kneeling to confess our sins. It is an opportunity for us to bow down and remember that God is God, and you and I are not.

In The Message, Eugene Peterson translates Psalm 131 in this way:

God, I’m not trying to rule the roost,

    I don’t want to be king of the mountain.

I haven’t meddled where I have no business

    or fantasized grandiose plans.

I’ve kept my feet on the ground,

    I’ve cultivated a quiet heart.

Like a baby content in its mother’s arms,

    my soul is a baby content.

Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope.

    Hope now; hope always!

May we bow down, and let God be the one to lift us up with words of forgiveness and hope.

By the way, I am writing a book. I hope you’ll buy a copy – Great Humility and How I Achieved it!

…just kidding! 

Let us Pray: 

Dear God, I lift up my eyes, but my head is bent low. Help me to maintain a posture of humility, and not get too full of myself. You are God. I am not. My hope is in you – hope now, and hope always. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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