Psalm 104: 35(NRSV)
Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!
I’m sure the vandalism in many eastern NC businesses and the chants of ‘Justice for George Floyd’ and ‘Black lives matter’ brought back haunting thoughts of race riots and escalating tensions of the 1960s and early 70s for many of our Centenarians, largely our boomers and older Gen X’rs.
For others, the pain perhaps goes back even further in our nation's history where our black, brown and other brothers and sisters of color had less rights than our white brothers and sisters. Some of us have seen glimpses of this in our area but for me and the folks younger than me, this is largely foreign territory. We don’t have a lot to compare this with other than what we’ve read in history and other similar atrocities we’ve seen on the news in other places around the globe. But one thing is true of all of our generations-we don’t want this madness in our neighborhoods and we certainly want it to come to a quick and peaceful resolve.
As I look around and as I listen, I hear cries for justice. From all sides, everyone seems to want justice and everyone seems to have their own definition of what exactly that is. Psalm 104 reminds us to practice love and kindness in all situations. That’s how God’s justice through Christ has worked and been evidenced in my life and in the lives of countless others. When I look to the pastors, lay leaders, Sunday school teachers, deacons and wonderful laity like most of you who have had an effect and positive influence on my life and indeed my faith…those attributes are always present and clear.
It’s ok to have a wide and wild range of emotions right now. This is the most tumultuous time in our history that we’ve collectively experienced. Friends, I pray for you and ask you to pray for one another during this very dirty page in our nation's history. May we not turn our backs and hide from God calling us into new places and in new ways. May we be bold in building bridges and making disciples for the transformation of the world.
On the Beach, the Waves of Waters
HYMN TO JOY 18.104.22.168 D ("Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee")
On the beach, the waves of waters Crash upon the sparkling sand. Parents with their sons and daughters Stroll and chatter, hand in hand. Several people, watching, gazing, Spot some dolphins swimming free. God, your world is so amazing! Thank you for the wondrous sea.
Later on, the storm clouds gather, Rolling in upon the shore. Lightning crashes, people scatter As the rains begin to pour. There is music in the thunder! Soon the storms will pass on by. God, we thank you for the wonder Of the ever-changing sky.
In our homes and on vacation, God, your love is every place. You have made this good creation; You have filled your world with grace. Sea and land reflect your glory; Beauty lights your sky above. God, creation sings the story Of your ever-constant love.
Biblical Reference: Psalms 104, 148 Tune: Ludwig van Beethoven, 1824 ("Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee") (MIDI) Text: Copyright © 2007 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved. Copied from Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books, 2009).