These past months have been tough. Not just a little bit tough—but really tough. Trying to live up to others’ expectations of who I should be or what I should be doing. Tough enough for me to cry out to God for help at a deeper level than I have ever cried out before. “Enough already, God! Enough!”, I shout out.Read More
As God’s people travel en masse up to worship their God in Jerusalem their pilgrim song rises more strongly, more clearly. It is a song that encircles the people and draws them together as one voice.
Have you ever been in a crowd that is heading someplace? Like a crowd streaming into a big hockey game or a hot band concert or a march of protest or a celebration parade?Read More trust, worship
As the pilgrims’ song carries them closer to the city of their God, they begin to dream about what God’s blessings will look like when they reach Jerusalem and peace. I wonder if, right now, you were asked to describe what God’s blessings look like in our world—what you would say?Read More hope, blessing
This pilgrim song runs head-on into reality—their harsh reality. God’s people have enemies! Enemies within and enemies without. Enemies that would crush and destroy them. Enemies that have kicked them around since they were birthed as God’s people. They are exhausted, beaten down, sore and shredded by tongue lashes as sharp as a flesh-ripping whip. Long, cruel, bloody scars down their backs.Read More hope, enemies
Suddenly, the focus of this next psalm changes from blasting oppressors with “Go, get ‘em God!” to a deep heart cry for mercy. What an amazing about-turn!
It is as if the psalmist has been caught by surprise and out of the depths there is a wrenching plea: Hear my cry for help! Listen hard! Open your ears! Listen to my cries for mercy.Read More mercy, hope, forgiveness
Wow – what is happening in this psalm? Has the psalmist done something so terrible that God is furious? What’s this discipline thing about? Is the Psalmist dying of some illness – or what?
Well, we are not told. What we do read is that the psalmist feels rebuked and disciplined and is crying out for help and for mercy . . . again. But this time there is a cry for healing, for release from pain and sleeplessness.Read More suffering, prayer, healing
This is a big psalm! Big, bold, beautiful! Needs a wall-sized canvas, a broad brush and buckets of primary colors.
As a youth camp counselor some years back, I wondered how the teenagers in my cabin could be captured by the glory and majesty of our created world—but more importantly be captured by God who created such splendor.Read More creation, majesty
Here it is again: that tight-rope balance on the hard-edge of human reality. Living in our very broken world full of injustice, unfairness and violence while at the same time daring to believe in God who sees, who hears, who knows and who will bring an eternal justice. But isn’t our real struggle with When will justice come?Read More faith