Going Deeper 7-3-19

‚ÄčThe Psalm for Pentecost 4...
Psalm 66:1-9  Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise.  Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!  Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.  All the earth worships you; they sing praises to you, sing praises to your name."  Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.  He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot.  There we rejoiced in him, who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations— let the rebellious not exalt themselves.   Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.

Songs/Psalms of praise are not only fitting for times of joyful celebration.  As odd as it might seem, many expressions of praise are fitting for times of trial and difficulty.  Why?  Because God has quite a track record of lifting up the downcast and the outcast, as well as bringing healing to the broken and the brokenhearted.  As a matter of fact, God has such a strong history of such redemption that His people can praise Him in the midst of a storm.

This Psalm attests to the fact that past blessings can move us to praise as surely as present blessings.  For example, "He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot" can point literally to the Exodus/rescue from Egypt, but the images are borrowed here to celebrate the return of the remnant of Israel from their generation-long captivity in Babylon following the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.  Remembering God's past works of powerful rescue and redemption can bring hope in the midst of current and/or future struggles.  

This very much rings true for us today.  We regularly gather to sacramentally remember God's redemption/rescue of us from our slavery to sin and death.  Jesus' words, "Do this in memory of Me..." have echoed for generations, bringing both grace and hope to God's children in all sorts of circumstances.  And with grace and hope comes cause for celebration, even in the midst of trials and difficulties.  Another name for the Sacrament of Holy Communion is "The Eucharist"-- which literally means "The Thanksgiving."

"Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise.  Say to God, 'How awesome are your deeds!'"  Yes, indeed!!

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

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