Sunday, February 24, 2008


"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our Salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land...."

Someone brought up the topic recently about the distinction between worship and appreciation. Do we worship God because God is God, or because of what God does for us? Without the blessings, would we still worship? I'd say the answer is a qualified "yes." It depends on seeing God for who He is. God is worthy of worship, and we recognize that when we see clearly. Worship is a very natural response, similar (except in degree) to the "wow" of a phenomenal sunset. It just happens.

But do we really see God? Do we recognize Him? Do we realize His nature? Often the answer is no. We are too easily led astray into distorted views: the "grandpa" God spoiling us as children, the authoritative mean God eagerly seeking out sin to punish, the self-help God whose primary role is to help us figure out how to get along well in this world, the fairy godfather God to grant our wishes when we pray. But God cannot and will not be stuck in a box like that.

The Psalms are like the songbook of the Jewish people, exploring life and relationship with God -- wrestling with difficult times, rejoicing in times of celebration, and worshiping the one true God. Psalm 95 is one of those incredible perspective-giving Psalms.

Here are the lectionary texts for next Sunday:
I Samuel 16:1-13
Psalm 23
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9

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