In This Episode: When we have these amazing moments of faith like Elijah calling down fire from heaven or out running a chariot, it is almost always followed up by a crisis where you end up deflated, depleted, or defeated. Revisit the refreshing presence of God that’s new each morning.
G. K. Chesterton wrote, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found lacking. It has been found difficult and left untried.”
Prelude: “Auf meinen lieben Gott”
Welcome / Announcements / Prayer with Lord’s Prayer (Mary Lou Jarrell)
Hymn: “My Hope Is Built” (Hymn #368)
Apostles’ Creed (Angela, Sarah, and Richard Sims)
Reading of Scripture (Steve and Stevie Lorentz)
Children Sermon (Caroline Green)
Anthem: “Amazing Grace” (arr. Mark Hayes)
Sermon: “Love and Truth in Balance” (Rev. Dr. P. Shane Green)
Hymn: “Grace Greater than our Sin” (Hymn #365)
Benediction (Rev. Dr. P. Shane Green)
Postlude: “Father in Highest Heaven” (J. S. Bach)
What are we to make of these words from Psalm 94? The Lord is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth. 2 Rise up, Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. 3 How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? 4 They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting. 5 They crush your people, Lord; they oppress your inheritance. 6 They slay the widow and the foreigner; they murder the fatherless. 7 They say, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob takes no notice.” 8 Take notice, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise? 9 Does he who fashioned the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? 10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge? 11 The Lord knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile. 12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law; 13 you grant them relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked. 14 For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance. 15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it.
How does one handle this harsh language of what some call a psalm of wrath or vengeance? One first must understand this psalm is to attempt to take justice and righteousness, and conversely injustice and sin, as seriously as God does. God turns against evil because of what evil does to God’s good creation—it destroys or perverts it. Because God loves creation so much, it is a natural reaction to turn against that which would destroy what is dearly loved.
In this psalm, we read the level of moral outrage to injustice and evil. Love has a goal for the object of that love to be better in every way. When that goal isn’t reached or actualized, the lover will do what is necessary for the object of love to reach that goal. This is not mean-spirited but the willingness of one to go to great lengths for another’s wholeness.
I like what Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “I pray the imprecatory psalms in the certainty of their marvelous fulfillment. I leave the vengeance to God.” If I leave it to God, then I don’t have to worry about its fulfillment. That is something for God to do…and God alone.
This Week’s Readings:
Monday – Matthew 23
Tuesday – Matthew 24
Wednesday – Matthew 25
Thursday – Matthew 26
Friday – Matthew 27
Please Pray for:
Families in crisis.
Loved ones battling illness.
Those seeking to find their way.
The St. Paul Church family and our ministries.
The United Methodist Church family.
Our leaders, our country, and our world.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6
Prelude: “Adagio” (Loeillet) Welcome / Announcements / Prayer with Lord’s Prayer (Mary Lou Jarrell) Hymn: “O Church of God United” (Hymn #547) Apostles’ Creed (Stefan and Katie Burkhalter) Reading of Scripture (Logan and Roy Ogletree) Children Sermon (Sally Key Bowden) Anthem: “The Lord Is My Shepherd” (Wayne and Jeanne Martz) Sermon: “Spiritual Sign of Maturity” (Rev. Dr. P. Shane Green) Hymn: “Go Make of All Disciples” (Hymn #571) Benediction (Rev. Dr. P. Shane Green) Postlude: “Cantabile” (Telemann)
Celebration and joy comes when we let God redeem our ordinary life. Quote from C. S. Lewis: “Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire; if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just had out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very center of reality.”
Scriptures: Proverbs 3:5-6; 1 Kings 19; Luke 2:10; Nehemiah 8:10; 1 Peter 5:7; Revelation 3:20; Romans 12:1-2; John 10:10; Lamentations 3:22-23; Exodus 14:13-14
If you’d like to reach out to us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.