May 1, 2021
Psalm 22:25-31 The Message
Church and Community Worker
Mountain View District
Psalm 22:25-31 The Message
Here in this great gathering for worship I have discovered this praise-life. And I’ll do what I promised right here in front of the God-worshipers. Down-and-outers sit at God’s table and eat their fill. Everyone on the hunt for God is here, praising him. “Live it up, from head to toe. Don’t ever quit!” From the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses, are running back to God. Long-lost families are falling their faces before him. God has taken charge; from now on he has the last word. All the power-mongers are before him – worshiping! All the poor and powerless, too – worshiping! Along with those who never got it together – worshiping! Our children and their children will get in on this as the word is passed along from parent to child. Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news – that God does what he says. Psalm 22:25-31 (The Message)
In the same Psalm, the reader goes from “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” to “… hear the good news – that God does what he says.” What a contrast in 31 verses. Although the first verses question God and God’s relationship to the Psalmist, the last 6 verses of Psalm 22 affirm God’s goodness and faithfulness to God’s people.
What does sharing the message of God’s goodness look like? With whom do we share? Henri Nouwen, in The Living Reminder, states, “… in order to be a living reminder of the Lord, we must walk in his presence as Abraham did. To walk in the presence of the Lord means to move forward in life in such a way that all our desires, thoughts, and actions are constantly guided by him. When we walk in the Lord’s presence, everything we see, hear, touch, or taste reminds us of him. This is what is meant by a prayerful life. It is not a life in which we say many prayers, but a life in which nothing, absolutely nothing, is done, said, or understood independently of him who is the origin and purpose of our existence.” (Quoted in A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants, The Upper Room, 1983)
In my ordinary life, I find it difficult to find God in all things. I deal with “difficult” people, stressful situations, and smart technology that seems less smart all the time. If I am honest, sometimes I am the difficult person, I cause stress in situations, and I get frustrated rather than smart when dealing with technology. Then I see a beautiful sunset, the myriad stars in the night sky, the eyes of one of our clients at Jubilee Project. I am reminded that God created and in the midst of all creation, God is faithful.
How do we best praise and serve the Lord? Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking, A Theological ABC, defines worship in this way: “To worship God means to serve him. Basically, there are two ways to do it. One way is to do things for him that he needs to have done – run errands for him, carry messages for him, fight on his side, feed his lambs, and so on. The other way is to do things for him that you need to do – sing songs for him, create beautiful things for him, give things up for him, tell him what’s on your mind and in your heart, in general rejoice in him and make a fool of yourself for him the way lovers have always made fools of themselves for the one they love.” What does Eastertide look like when we “worship” in this way?
I long to do both things – to carry messages, to feed the lambs, to sing songs and create beautiful things. How blessed we are that we are not only able to carry, feed, sing, and create, but are also called to share, feed, fight, sing, and create. May our praise of the ever-creating God empower us to share the beautiful message that Christ is risen, then sing, give, and create!
Holy God. Thank you for calling us to praise and worship. Thank you that we are able to come together to praise and worship. Be in the midst of our lives of worship and service so that we can see you all around us and serve those all around us. Amen.