Friday, July 06, 2007

A Promise...


House of Prayer Fireworks?
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Excerpts from one of Cindy's recent sermons - the sermon that followed Karen's story in the three prior posts.

This morning's psalm describes a similar scene: If it had not been God who was on our side, then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters. If it had not been God who was on our side…

Karen would be quick to point out that God was on her friend Samya's side, too, even though she died, and Karen did not. That God was on her friend Leslies' side, too, even though he suffered a brain injury and was never able to resume his teaching duties.

And that is, for me, the difficulty of this psalm. Because so often when we say that God is on our side, we mean instead of your side, instead of their side. But as our beloved Karen said, “NO! God loves each and every person who died tonight just as much as God loves me.” God loves the Sunnis and the Shiites and the American soldiers, too. And though that may or may not have been the psalmist's stance, it is the lens through which we can approach this morning's psalm...

The psalmist is just an inch away from death. The imagery that he or she uses here about being swallowed up whole is used at some other places in scripture, and it's referring to a dragon or a sea monster. So it's like you're just about to be swallowed up whole, you can feel the dragon's hot breath, see the saliva dripping off it's monstrous teeth…

Or it's like the floodwater is rushing down the street, sweeping cars and grocery stalls and people toward you, a torrent of muddy brown pulling you down, dragging you away from every last thing that you love…

And then, and then, just when you thought you could bear no more, and then, and then, just when you saw that there was no way out... the God whose very name is Way Out, the God whose very name is HELP, the maker of heaven and earth, the God who is on your side pulls you from the swelling waters and holds you fast until the waters subside...

Karen... said, “It was good to remember this story this morning as a promise.”

And that is what this psalm is: it's a promise. God is on our side. May we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

======
by Pastor Cindy, who has a voice to speak

1 Comments:

At 7/18/07, 2:58 PM, Blogger brd said...

Beautiful.

 

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