Psalms for Today
Last week, I told you how I started the Psalms in my yearly bible reading plan – and I encouraged you to read Psalm 1. Today I opened my bible reading app, and the Psalms for today were 22, 23, and 24.
Psalm 22 – for anyone who is (or has been or will be) struggling with God – is an amazing Psalm for you. In fact, when Jesus struggled MIGHTILY with God (on the cross, no less), he found the opening words of Psalm 22 to perfectly express his dismay as he cried out famously, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Sometimes the Psalms can perfectly express our trouble, doubt, and dismay with God. Amazing.
Psalm 23 is the one you all know. You’ve heard it at practically every funeral you’ve ever been to. It comforts those who are walking through darkness as it promises God’s presence and protection (reminds me of Sunday’s sermon, now that I think of it!). When Jesus spoke of himself as the “Good Shepherd”, surely this Psalm was in his heart and head. It’s a remarkable Psalm. Read it again, and maybe even memorize it.
Psalm 24 is less known – but no less remarkable. Especially the opening verses:
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
Think about what this line is saying: in some way, because he founded the world, the earth and all who live in it are his. I think it’s why Jesus could confidently say that “God so loved the world” (and everyone in it) that he sent his only Son. It’s why I so often try to refer to the world as “the world that God loves”. It’s why our mission is directed outside of ourselves towards a world that God loves – but does not know God loves it (nor that it belongs to him).
It’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to our outdoor worship services at the harbor gazebo in August: we can get outside of our building, be in the world that God made, and share this message in an open space.
And so with Psalm 24:1 in mind, I want to ask you for three things as the August gazebo services approach.
First, I want to ask you to make every effort to attend the services.
It might be a bit hot and uncomfortable and sunny (or very sunny). It might be a bit different than what we’re used to. You might say to yourself, “eh, I can stay home and watch the livestream (or some other service).” Fair enough. But a crowd gathers a crowd, and the church gathered is a powerful thing, so the more, the merrier.
Second, I want to ask you to invite and/or bring other people along.
It could be a perfect opportunity to encourage someone to come who might have reservations about stepping foot into a church building. Think about who you could invite – and take the chance to invite them. They might just be waiting for you.
Third, and honestly more importantly, I want to ask you to pray for the services.
Pray that the weather would be ok. Pray that the logistics and details will work out. Pray for the people who will show up and that more people would show up. Pray that God would make a movement in people’s hearts and heads to draw them closer to himself. Pray that God would make himself known.
Would you be able to pray every day throughout July for this?
Please do so. If you forget one day, that’s ok. Pray the next day. If you forget every day, that’s ok too. You can start in August!