We took a moment as a whole congregation to consider the historical moment in the world, and in our nation, to pause and interpret these things through the lens of Scripture. We let the Word of God as a whole, and Psalm 73 specifically, interpret current events for us.
Listen or download:
“Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.”
“Simply denouncing racism isn’t enough. We must announce the Gospel, which has the power to obliterate it at its source—the human heart.”
“A society’s maturity and humanity will be measured by the degree of dignity it affords to the disaffected and the powerless.”
“Instead of seeking to evade our social responsibility, we need to open our ears and listen to the voice of Him who calls His people in every age to go out into the lost and lonely world (as He did), in order to live and love, to witness and serve, like Him and for Him.”
—John Stott, Involvement: Being a Responsible Christian in a Non-Christian Society
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Wouldn’t it be grand if Christians would stand against the misplaced values of our time, not with angry rhetoric but with love and action?”
—Richard Stearns (president World Vision USA)
All Summer we’ve also been journeying in the Story Catechism. he twentieth (and final) chapter of the Story Catechism is about the consummation of all things and the return of Jesus:
Through Jesus, God is re-establishing peace.
Through Jesus, God is bringing freedom.
Through Jesus, God is renewing His Creation.
Through Jesus, God is putting everything back in its right and proper place.
And through Jesus, once again it is very good.
Colossians 1:19-20 (ESV)
For in him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Revelation 7:9-12 (ESV)
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Psalm 73 (ESV)
A Psalm of Asaph.
73 Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
5 They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them as a garment.
7 Their eyes swell out through fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.
8 They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
9 They set their mouths against the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth.
10 Therefore his people turn back to them,
and find no fault in them.
11 And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all the day long I have been stricken
and rebuked every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.
18 Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.