Going Deeper 7-17-2019

The Psalm for Pentecost 6...
Psalm 15   O Lord, who may abide in your tent?  Who may dwell on your holy hill?  Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart; who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors; in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt; who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent.  Those who do these things shall never be moved.

Many scholars believe this Psalm is liturgical in nature, in some ways comparable perhaps to the "Entrance Hymn" which became part of Christian liturgy.  Prior to entering the sanctuary or temple, those who sought to "abide" or "dwell" were to pondered their conduct.  As followers of God, they were held to high standards.  Only the blameless had the right to enter.

In our Christian liturgy, we come from a different mindset.  We prepare for entrance into the sanctuary for worship by first having a time of Confession and Absolution, recognizing and admitting to God and to one another that we have not walked "blamelessly" and consistently done "what is right."  We confess our unworthiness to dwell in the presence of the Lord.  At this point, we hear the "Absolution" as we are reminded of the grace that is ours through Christ, hearing the good news of forgiveness and reconciliation.  All of this prepares us for worship!

All of this prepares us for life.  In light of the Gospel truth about unmerited grace, we seek to be transformed from the inside out, seeking to embrace God's will for our lives and to live in accordance with His command to love God and neighbor with everything we've got.  We know we will not be able to "walk blamelessly"... but we can walk more and more freely and powerfully in the way of Jesus.

Note how the Psalm points us in the direction of protecting and caring for our "neighbors," refraining from anger and doing harm.  Remember... when the worship is over, the service begins!

With You in His Service,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."