Message From the Pulpit – Proper 9 – July 5, 2020
Brothers & Sisters,
We are invited to approach God in our worship with a spirit of whole-hearted thanksgiving. We are all aware of the challenges that face us each day in our personal lives and especially during this time of the Corona Virus Pandemic. We could easily spend much of our time complaining and being overcome by fear and anxiety. Such an attitude leaves us deluded, demoralized and defeated. However, when we hear and heed the truth as it is revealed in God’s word, we learn that a completely new attitude is demanded of us, and that thanksgiving is in fact our path to victory.
In the opening three verses of Psalm 138, the psalmist recognized that when he called to God, his need was resolved, and so he gladly announces, “I will sing your praise, I will bow down towards your holy temple, and give thanks for your steadfast love and faithfulness.” He received blessings greater than he could ask or think, and so it was important that he should testify to God’s greatness and have a desire to magnify God’s name. Could it be that the song in your heart at this moment is, “Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I am to say that you’re my God….”
This experience of God’s dealings with him led to the recognition that universal homage is due to God. God is great in his glory and all kings should take note of that (vs.4&5) and what is even more amazing is that God has regard for the lowly (v.6). Though he was of little account, God’s attention to him was unfailing. Could it be that when you think of God in these terms you are inspired to continue the chorus, “You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me.”
What is evident in this psalm of thanksgiving is that it is not a theory that is being advanced, or theological talk that has been learnt and is now being shared, but that it is grounded on the personal experience of the writer. It is a testimony of God’s dealings with him. He was bearing witness to God’s action in the burdensome situation that he faced, so he looks to God and declares, “You preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand and your right hand delivers me” (v.7).
In our striving toward intentional discipleship, we need to understand that all disciples must be able to give testimony of God’s dealing with them, and display an attitude of thankfulness that has developed out of their confidence in God’s love and faithfulness for them.
Think on these things!