Hope At All Times

June 21, 2022

Psalm 74.9-12

We are given no signs from God;
    no prophets are left,
    and none of us knows how long this will be.
10 How long will the enemy mock you, God?
    Will the foe revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
    Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!

12 But God is my King from long ago;
    he brings salvation on the earth.

Early in ministry I tried to help the congregation get better at expressing worship.  I stopped us in a song (not sure what the song was, but something that had the theme of joy).  I stopped us, because as I looked out I saw faces that did not express joy.  They looked sad, serious, somber, maybe even angry.  I thought we should look joyous if we sang about joy.

What a huge mistake I made at that moment.  I failed to see that people could offer worship from the place at which they were currently living.  I can come in hurting, yet sing of joy and know joy, while not being able to feel al that joyous at the moment.  It should be noted that no one ever stopped people to let them know they should look sad when we sang a song of lament. 

It is not that we, or others with us, have everything in the place of great joy at all times.  It is not that we have the perfect alignment of emotion to go with the day.  We are where we are.  We feel what we do.  And in the midst of is we know that our place is still with God who brings salvation.  It is not because we think all is as it should be.  It is because God is the one whom we worship and it is God who leads us in life.

Whether we come into the day with joy, sadness, anger, or any mixture of the variety of feelings we might have.  We come into the day with God walking with us, holding us in his hands.  We go into the day, into all of life, with the God who is with us whatever emotional state we are in.  He has us in his hands.  And we see that we can praise from our joy, our sorrow, because in all things he is our God and we are his people.

SongYour Grace is Enough

Prayer

O God, in creation you fashion us in your image, in Christ you reveal to us your love, through the Holy Spirit you welcome us into the fellowship of believers; we bow in gratitude before you.  We constantly distort your image, but still you restore it.  We daily betray your love, but still you extend it.  We often disrupt fellowship, but still you bless it.  Come unto us at this time and in this place, O Lord, that your image in us might be revealed, your love for us returned, and our fellowship in Christ renewed.  Amen.

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