Dear Church Family and Community,
I often have to remind myself that the Psalms we read were songs that were sung. They were songs of praise and lament, and also songs of hope and despair. These songs teach about who God is, and they also reveal even the deeply hidden things in our hearts.
That the Psalms were songs makes them even more personal. Songwriters share from their experience, and the most talented ones are able to make their experience somehow universal to listeners as well, a shared experience. So, as we read the Psalms, we must know that they are Scripture yes; but they are also stories from songwriters that tell us who God is and who God has revealed Himself to be…to them…and to us.
The Psalms of David perhaps best embody all of this. In Psalm 23 for example, David is able to share about God, his and our Shepherd and King. The Spirit used David’s life, his roles as shepherd and later king to teach who God is to us. Psalm 139 is another favorite of mine. There we see David sum up not only his life on the run all those years, but also how God who perfectly knows us will always be there for us…and working altogether for our good.
This week, I have been sitting with Psalm 145. David is worshipping his God and King here, and promising to praise and exalt God today and forever. David sings of God’s goodness and greatness, as well as of God’s people sharing the works of God from generation to generation so that all others may know God and His kingdom. David’s God is also righteous and trustworthy, so much so that every creature should praise His holy name for ever and ever. In the midst of this tremendous praise and worship chorus, David sings this:
“8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made.”
In this Growing Season, we have been focusing on the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus tells us that he is the Vine, and his Father is the Gardener. We are the branches, and we bear fruit when we remain in Christ, our Vine. Remaining in Christ is following Jesus’ commands and living by the Spirit. Living by the Spirit produces fruit. The fruit of life by the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control.
I am excited for our service this week, as we focus on forbearance (longsuffering/patience). I am excited for Pastor Brie to share with us how we can have forbearance in this season, and in all of our lives. As you prepare to worship with us this weekend, read through Genesis 29:14-20. What are some of the things God has given us to help during our times of waiting through hardships? In what ways can we live in the fullness of life with Christ amidst times of forbearing?
The Spirit blesses us with forbearance for today and all of our days. Our God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. We, God’s children, are called to live with forbearance, so that like God our Father, we can have compassion on all.
May God’s presence bring you comfort and strength. May Jesus’ witness equip and empower you to live with increasing patience and trust in God. And may the Spirit of God keep molding you into the image of Jesus, our Christ.
God bless you all.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Psalm 145:8-9)
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