Bread – Gospel

March 28, 2018


Psalm 100

Today is Wednesday in Holy Week, the day fixed between our secular joy in welcoming our King Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, singing “Hosanna in the Highest,” and our Christian joy in His resurrection on Easter day.  Between the secular joy of recognizing our need for a good earthly king and the religious joy arising from our recognizing our need for an eternal King, a Savior, are betrayal and death.  What is so amazing about this is that it is we who participated in the betrayal and it is we who killed Him.  It is our sins which required a sacrifice of blood.  And it is God Himself who offered Himself as that sacrifice on the cross, dying once for all who are called to Him and believe in Him, restoring us into relationship with God and unto eternal life.

Since it is a day in the middle, it seems appropriate that we are met with Psalm 100, labeled as “His Steadfast Love Endures Forever,” and “A Psalm for Giving Thanks,” in its entirety as follows:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into His presence with singing!

 Know that the Lord, He is God!  It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

 Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!  Give thanks to Him; bless His name!

 For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever; and His faithfulness to all generations.”  Ps. 100:1-5

My prayer for myself and all who read these words in this season of our lives is that we know that the Lord is God, that we are His creation, that we are His people, that He is good, that His steadfast love toward us has endured from creation through His death on the cross through the resurrection and ascension, for all eternity, forever, and that His faithfulness and mercy toward us, His people and the sheep of His pasture, endures through thick and thin, in and out of our seasons, in and beyond time … and that for this, all of this, we are grateful.

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© 2018 GBF    All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

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Bread – Tremble

March 7, 2018


Psalm 99

The Lord reigns; let the people tremble!  He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!” Ps. 99:1

Yesterday I heard on the radio a song “Can You Only Imagine.”  The singer talks about being in the presence of God, meeting Him face to face, and the singer wonders whether or not he (the singer) would dance for joy or be dumb-struck, unable to move or open his mouth.

We imagine that heaven is a place where singing is non-stop, but what if it is a place where trembling is non-stop?  What if meeting the Lord in the fullness of His holiness causes us to stand in abject fear, in penetrating awe, in uncontrollable trembling and quaking?

In our dealings with our religion and our Christ, we often think of warm and fuzzy things which bring us joy and rest, but we rarely contemplate the true nature of God’s holiness, of His anger toward our sin, of His true power, of His absolute authority, and of His absolute forgiveness of those who believe in Jesus Christ.  If we really understood the nature of God as holy, would we be as cavalier in our faith, as ready in our judgment, as shallow in our relationship, as quick to chase after other gods, or as thoughtless in our selfishness?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, because it is hard for me to contemplate something so holy as to cause me to tremble.

But it is possible for me to think about a love so complete that it causes me to tremble.

This love that causes trembling I saw yesterday in my dog.  I came home, let my dog out of her crate, and she was so glad to see me that she literally fell on the floor shaking.  I picked her up and her trembling continued as she scrambled all over me to try to lick my face, my hand, or just find a place to stick her nose.  That is love and that is trembling.

When we wake up in the morning, are we as happy to see God as my dog was to see me?  Do we tremble with excitement about the opportunity to be re-connected in prayer, in conversation, in love?  Do we tremble with holy hands lifted up in worship as we thank God for the new day He has given us, the new opportunities He has opened up, the new relationships He has established, and the new life He has provided?

Maybe, just maybe we should tremble more and think less.  Maybe we should stand in the presence of God, trembling with anticipation about what will happen next, trembling with awe, trembling with hope, trembling with peace, trembling with joy, trembling knowing that, but for God’s mercy, His wrath would consume us, trembling in gratitude.

The Lord reigns – let me tremble before Him, in Him, and because of Him.  Amen.

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© 2018 GBF  All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

 

 

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