The Psalms aren't just wonderful songs from our spiritual ancestors. They're also ways of learning from their faith struggles and triumphs. Psalm 96 is teaching me this week how to keep my focus on God. While Sunday's story of Elijah's battle with the highly entertaining prophets of Baal is a great illustration of what God is wiling to do to recpature our attention, a better way is to learn how to keep God front and center in the first place!
It seems to me that Psalm 96 shows God's people doing ths by:
Coming into God's presence,
Inviting others to join us,
Going out to witness and to serve the God of equity.
Walk through these wonderful verses with me.
WE WILL WITNESS O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. (verses 1-3)
and PRAISE BECAUSE ...great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. (verses 4-5) (WE ACKNOWLEDGE IDOLS ARE THERE BUT ALSO THAT THEY HAVE NO REAL POWER)
COMING INTO GOD"S PRESENCE Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
INVITING OTHERS TO JOIN US Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts. Worship the LORD in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.
AND GOING OUT TO WITNESS AND TO SERVE THE GOD OF EQUITY Say among the nations, "The LORD is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity." (7-10)
I'm going to practice starting and finish each day with these words to see if they help me steer a faithful course. I invite you to join mw and share how it goes! In Joy, Karen
Karen L Munson
United Methodist Pastor & Liturgical Artist