Religion tends to prefer and protect the status quo or the supposedly wonderful past, yet what we now see is that religion often simply preserves its own power and privilege. God does not need our protecting. We often worship old things as substitutes for eternal things.
A study that I attended was about how people view God. Each of us has our own view and to define it can be difficult. There are some people for who God is part of something visual. They may feel closer to God in the church they have attended all their lives. The only difficulty comes when something in that building is changed. The connection can be shaken. That is why changing something we have associated with our faith all our lives can be so distressing.
We can’t stay connected to the past. We have to live in the present. The words of the service may change, the building may change but our faith must stay connected to Jesus Christ himself.
For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:30-31 NRSV
We all know people that we would love to have suffer for the wrongs that they have done. We would love to see evil befall them. However, God tells us that no matter how much we want to see them suffer it is not our place to take vengeance.
So many evils in this world come abut because of someone’s selfish, uncaring ways. People are hurt or seriously damaged and we can’t understand how they can get away with continuing to live that way and nothing happens. It seems that the good suffer and the evil thrive. How can God let this happen. That is one of the most difficult questions but part of the hope we see is here in these verses. It is definitely fearful to fall into the hands of the living God and have to answer for how we lived. Trust the Lord.
Prayer: Loving God, help us to trust you to render judgement. Remind us that is not our place but yours. We are called to forgive instead of seeking vengeance. Help us to follow in the ways of our Lord, Jesus Christ. AMEN
The 23rd Psalm has so much wisdom. We seldom stop to think about it. We just recite it because we have done it so often. Tonight I have been thinking about this part of it.
Psalm 23: 4 NRSV
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
or from The Message
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
I have always wondered about the rod and staff. In our time that image didn’t mean much. Now I see it as someone strong and caring walking with me….someone who will keep me safe no matter what. Walking with God I have no fear.
He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.
Finding calm in the midst of a storm is not easy. For those who experienced Dorian know this for certain. But Jesus calmed the storm. Just his words did the job. Resting in the promises of Jesus is the way to find the calm. He has told us not to worry. God is in charge. Be still and be calm.
I heard this song today and absolutely love the words. It is so true. We can do things we never thought we could when we believe.
Many nights we prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hope for a song
We barely understood
Now we are not afraid
Although we know there’s much to fear
We were moving mountains
Long before we knew we could, whoa, yes
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
Its hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe somehow you will
You will when you believe
In this time of fear
When prayer so often proves in vain
Hope seems like the summer bird
Too swiftly flown away
Yet now I’m standing here
My hearts so full, I can’t explain
Seeking faith and speakin’ words
I never thought I’d say
There can be miracles
When you believe (When you believe)
Though hope is frail
Its hard to kill (Mmm)
Who knows what miracles
When I was a choir director I was lucky to have a choir who could do this version of Psalm 46. I love the psalm and this version just lifts me up. I hope you can take the words to heart.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. Epictetus
We definitely spend too much time thinking and worrying about the future. The future is not in our control. Today…NOW is the only thing that we have. God’s in his heaven. Embrace today!
Be careful what you ask of God. There will be answers. It’s just that the answer may change everything.
Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has: it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but—-more frequently than not—-struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God. Martin Luther
It is so easy to believe in things that can be proved. Grass is green….the sky is blue. We can see those things for ourselves. Faith in God is a leap into the unknown. A step into something that is not physical and according to reason cannot be proved. What we don’t realize is there a many things that we can’t prove. Can I prove that I love someone? Only by actions and words. There is no science that can test it.
When science want to mock belief in God because God cannot be proved remember there are other things we have faith in that have no scientific proof.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
so I shall be saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9 He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
I should have printed the whole Psalm as it goes on like this. This Psalm is not for the weak at heart. This is no namby-pamby God but a God of power. Just imagine….God was called by one of his people and he not only answered but came fast as lightening with scary special effects better than any movie. This is SOME GOD!
He will come just as fast to help us… all we have to do is call.