(This is a transcript of the message)
So through this time of God is holding your life that we’ve been doing this worship series. We’ve been looking at different songs to learn a little bit more about God and God’s relationship with the people of God. And so today we hear from the Psalm one 11, and it was a Psalm of praise, a Psalm of awe and wonder, it was basically told a lot about God’s character.
But we think that this song was probably written at a time when all the Jews were still an exile in Babylon. And yet they were not only praising God because they sensed, there was a time when they’d be able to come back to the Holy land. So they had a time of hope and I’m sure some of us know that maybe we can see the letter of the tunnel just yet, but we’re starting to see a little bit of hope because we are seeing vaccines getting out there, not enough vaccines for everybody, for the pandemic, but we do see some signs of that.
And we pray that the numbers keep going down, down down of those, that test positive with COVID. And we also keep praying that those that are sick get well soon, but it is a long haul. And so we have this Psalm that talks about praise and being an awe and wonder of God. And I know that if you listen to the salve, you’d realize that God does provide food.
For those that are hungry. And is also mindful of the covenant. God is mindful of the covenant and, and shows that love and is helping to promise to lead those people back in return or the Holy land. And so we also are showing the power of God’s works throughout the Psalm. Now I know as we live our lives, we get pretty busy.
We we live, you know, we work, some of us works. Some of us work at home. Some of us are very creative. Some of us say connected with one another. So we’re covenanting with one another during this pandemic. And there are times in our world that we are filled with wonder and praise. Now, I’m sure it’s probably easier to think about all one or praise when we.
Look outside all around us. Maybe not so much. Now when it’s super cold here in upper New York state in the Northeast. And maybe when we know that we’re might be getting another snow storm coming up. There may be a few people that are totally in awe and wonder of this incredible, beautiful winter Wonderland, especially those that go skiing.
But then there’s others of us that would like, yeah. Okay. We just want to, by the fire and read a good book, we want to stay in doors. We don’t want to go out in this cold weather, but there are some other things that we can think about. When we think about nature, we can see presence of gods. God’s presence and God’s works.
Some of them are easily recognizable, especially in the spring, right in the spring, when all of a sudden the flowers begin to bloom and then the buds on the trees form. And then those buds open up into flowers, they blossom, and then there’s leaves. We see some awesome things all around us each and every day.
And we can resonate with God’s majesty and the beauty of nature, but there’s other ways that we can also. Be fulfilled with God’s majesty. It’s not just all around us. It’s also what happens within our community and within each and every one of us, if we’re open to this journey of faith for some it’s easier than others, but God has invited us just like Jesus called the disciples.
God is inviting us to take a step and turn our lives over to God, to not only turn our lives over to God, but to. Be filled with God’s presence in our lives and to let God guide us eat every step of the way. Now, sometimes that’s easy. Sometimes it’s difficult. And sometimes we get so consumed with our own world.
With our own little lives. We build our own little, you know, we have our own little habits. We have our own little world. And I think about that. And I think about some of the times, even in my own life, when I was kind of close off, my life was a little bit out of balance. And simple time was when, in my previous life, when I was working in the papers straight before I got to work in the paper in the street, when I was in graduate school for getting that degree, I was working on my thesis.
And any time I talk to anybody on the phone, I couldn’t carry on a regular conversation. All I could do was talk about my thesis. I couldn’t, I just didn’t know how to interact with anybody unless I was talking about my thesis. So I got in so focused on that, that I lost sight of everything else around me and everybody around me as well.
And then you think about that time when I shared with you, there was a video probably a year or two ago where there are these kids, right. And they’re at the dining room table. And they’re sitting across from one another and they’re texting and they’re just texting and texting and texting. And while they’re doing that, there’s different people that keep coming in and sit at the empty chairs at the dining room table.
And they’ll sit there for a few minutes and then they get up and leave. And then there’s some other people that’ll come in and sit at the table. Meanwhile, the kids are still texting and texting and texting, and then all of a sudden somebody cuts their wifi off and their phones don’t work. They can’t text anymore and they look up.
And they see strangers sitting at the table with them and they’re like, what happened? They had lost sight of everything else around them because they were so focused on their texts and what they’re doing on their phones, that they didn’t even know what was around them. So God is saying, Hey, don’t be so, so focused just on like texting or whatever that you lose sight of me.
That you lose sight of my presence in your life, that you lose sight of all that I’m doing in this world, because God is in our community. And that’s what this Psalm is about. God, we’re understanding about God’s character in this world. We’re learning about God’s compassion and faithfulness and justice.
And so we start to see those signs. We see some of the signs around us, as I said, in nature, we see beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Also think about the astronauts who first walked on the moon. Not only that sense of wonder, but when they turned and looked back and they took a picture of the earth, imagine what it was like for them to see the earth from afar.
Now we have satellites, we have telescopes that take pictures. And so we can see that ourselves on the internet, but imagine what they first saw so many years ago. So, how do we, how do we incorporate all these moments of wonder and how do we celebrate the joy of even the little things in our lives? Just the other day, there was a little girl, a toddler, and her father had been serving in the military and was away deployed.
But all of a sudden he came home and so this little girl’s hugging her daddy and she says, I miss you, daddy, I miss you, daddy. I love you. I missed you. I miss you. And so that’s also sweet and we, we love seeing those reunions, but then the really cute thing afterwards was like, she said, daddy, this is mommy.
She reintroduced her mom to her dad. And can you imagine that? And the dad is like, yeah, I know, but you know, here, the little girl thought her daddy was gone for so long that he might’ve forgotten who mommy was. These are times of awe and wonder and joy and, and just some special, special moments. And so we need to embrace those moments.
We need to not only embrace them, but we need to. Take those moments and be the spark that gets us into a lifelong journey of faith, of exploring our faith and journey together with God. Yes. We have special moments at Christmas and Easter, you know, through advent and Christmas through Lance and Easter, but like the hymn says it only takes a spark to get a fire going.
That’s how it is with God’s love. Once you’ve experienced it. You want it to spread that love to others, and that’s what we’re called to do. So think about this question. What can each of us do to be open, to, and to grow into a deeper relationship with God? What do we need to let go of? What do we need to open ourselves up to in order, in order to be in a deeper relationship with God?
Because when we do that, our lives are transformed. When we do that, our relationship with God grows deeper and maybe we spend more time with God. Maybe we can listen to what God is telling us, or we can see God’s presence in the world. So when we come together in community in worship, whether we’re in person, whether we’re virtually it is my hope that we are being spiritually fed and nurtured by God.
That’s what worship is about to be fed and nurtured by God. And then to take that nurture that we’ve received and share that nurture with others. So we embrace that growth within ourselves. And with that growth, not only is within ourselves, we experienced it together as a community of faith. And it also helps us go beyond our walls.
You heard us mention what happened with not only our little food pantry, that we have the beautiful blue box by the garage, but also the amount of food we’re able to donate to cecum the Schenectady inner city ministries. What an incredible gift that you are giving because you’re reaching beyond these doors to others.
You are showing God’s love to others. So this Psalm, it provides us with a lens. I forgot my little guide glasses last summer. If you recall, I used to put some sunglasses on and I said, Hey, these are my guide glasses. And when I put those on, I can see God at work all throughout this world. But think about that, you know, put on your guide glasses.
Because when we put on our God glasses, we can look in new ways to see the signs of God’s living presence, both in the world and in individuals and in communities. We have the gift. We have the gift of being seen the light of Christ to others, and yes, we can be overwhelmed and yes, we can sometimes think that we don’t make a difference, but we can make a difference because we are opening ourselves up to God and we are allowing God to change our lives.
And then God is using us to help others to be open to Christ, to be open to the love that Christ freely gives us. And so we get to this, this part with the gospel of Jesus in the gospel of Mark, where Jesus he’s he’s there, he goes to, Capernum a place where he actually lived off and on for, during his ministry with Peter and at Peter’s house, his mother-in-law’s house.
And as a place up by the sea of Galilee and he’s there, and people find out what he can do and they’re, they’re full of awe. He’s there at the temple, which isn’t far from Peter’s house. It’s very easy to walk to. And, and he, there he is. He’s teaching with authority and people are like, who is this guy? And they start to listen.
They start to listen. And then they see there’s one who, who needs healing. And Jesus stops him and heals this man. And these people were amazed and they’re like, how can he do this? Jesus is showing God’s love to a man who needed healing. Jesus is teaching these people with authority about the word of God and how to be in relationship with God and with one another.
So as he did this, it became a huge thing because now people started coming to him that really began the ministry of people coming to him, seeking healing. Seeking to learn more about God. And, and so it’s an incredible thing. Can you imagine what Jesus must have been going through at the time and what the disciples were doing when they would follow Jesus and they they’d take them to these different places and they’d see all these crowds coming.
How many of them were filled with on wonder and feeling God’s love through Jesus Christ. Jesus offers his love to all of us. He died for all of us. He gave his life so that we might live and live life with grace and love and compassion. The compassion love grace mercy that God has given us. So freely.
All we have to do is open ourselves up and say, here I am, Lord, I’m yours do with me as you will accept me and help me to be. One of your faithful followers now and forever, may it be so amen.