Psalm 99 (Psalms on the Trail)

2015-06-18 13.51.33

“Proclaim the greatness of the Lord.

Fall down before God’s footstool.

God is the Holy One.”  Psalm 99:5

These exquisite little mushrooms would be missed unless one crouches down on the ground  beside a fallen, rotting log.

There is a woman whose faith seemed best expressed from the ground: Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, friend of Jesus. Mary had her own way of doing things—intense, focused, wholehearted, often misunderstood and invariably at her Lord’s feet.  When Jesus came to visit her family, she sat on the floor at Jesus’ feet (like the disciples), listening to his teaching instead of helping her sister fix dinner. Jesus gently told her frustrated sister that Mary had chosen wisely. When Jesus arrived late at their home a few days after Lazarus had died, Mary ran out and threw herself on the ground at Jesus’ feet, weeping “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.”  Jesus wept too and then went to the tomb and raised her brother to life.  Not long after, Jesus came to their house again on his way to Jerusalem for the last time.  Mary came into the room where he was eating with his disciples, knelt down and anointed his feet with expensive ointment, wiping them with her hair.   A disciple criticized her wastefulness, but Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She is doing this for the day I am buried.”  Mary, on the floor again, knows more than others about Jesus being the Holy One.

It is a good thing for me to remember that sometimes we see things more clearly when we are on the ground and not trying to scramble to the top.


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  What things can you discover from sitting on the ground—literally and spiritually?

2. Or read all of Psalm 99 to discover how this verse fits into this psalm.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that is a window of this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s psalm  will be Psalm 100.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.


  1. Let me know when you find morels. If I find any I’ll bring them along.