Ps. 114: A Contemporary Interpretation

Carol Rose is a writer, educator and spiritual counselor. Her published works include, Path of The Mothers (poetry and prose, Albion-Andalus Books), From the Dream (poetry, Albion-Andalus Books), and Behind the Blue Gate (poetry, Beach Holme Publishing). In 2017, she and her husband, Rabbi Neal Rose, received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award of the province of Manitoba for the advancement of interreligious understanding.

During this time of pandemic, misinformation, and social upheaval, I find myself reading, interpreting, and applying the words of the Psalms (or their sentiments) in familiar and new ways. Some of these words serve as clear reminders of the timeless challenges that easily translate from ancient to contemporary times. Others require more creative engagement to see how they might illumine the current moment. I have chosen to unfold Psalm 114 in the following way:


The people left Egypt, which they called the narrow place,

Mitzraim, where exaggeration and deceit were on the tongues

of those in power; a strange and confusing language.

The women (sometimes known as the house of Jacob) and the men

formed a tribe, a people united in their desire to live truthfully, with holiness.

And it seemed as if the flow of life reversed itself, the waters of the Jordan

opened new pathways, and the people marched across, together.

And all that had once stood certain as mountains, began to shift, to dance.

And all that seemed dense, impenetrable as stone, began to flow

like waters splashing over rock, singing praises to the Presence

suddenly sensed among the travelers journeying home.


Read more about the PsalmSeason here & subscribe for email updates.

If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today

more from IFYC

Studies show houses of worship have provided solace during the pandemic, but companies across the U.S. are struggling to respond to requests for religious exemptions to vaccine mandates.
Catholics leaders have urged vaccination to "protect the most vulnerable," and studies show this outreach is helping improve vaccination rates among Latino Catholics.
Across the country, people from all political divides, faiths and walks of life are coming together to help resettle Afghan refugees arriving at the borders.
The first episode of “Home Sweet Home,” which DuVernay said prioritizes curiosity over conflict, features the Wixx family — a “super queer” Black couple with three children.
Each week, we share our top 10 religion stories from journals, news sites, podcasts and magazines.
Dr. Abel Gomez: "If we’re talking about interfaith work and we want to expand the ability of communities to practice their religious ceremonies, I ask my students: if we think about the experience of Native people under the occupation of the United States, do they actually have religious freedom?"
The Fisk Jubilee Singers, based at the historically Black university founded by the abolitionist American Missionary Association and later tied to the United Church of Christ, started traveling 150 years ago on Oct. 6, 1871.
The last several months have been catastrophic for Haiti. The Aug. 14 earthquake left more than 2,200 people dead, followed by Tropical Depression Grace two days later. The country’s political sector has been in disarray & over 22,000 people have officially died during the pandemic.
Apache Stronghold will take part in a day of prayer Saturday (Oct. 9) at Oak Flat before meeting with leaders of the Tohono O’odham Nation, who will offer a blessing and prayer for their travels.

The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.