Posts Tagged safety
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah (two of 74)
Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed. For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you. [NRSV]
A psalm, a hymn for worship, to be sung by the choir/praise team. Not a congregational hymn but more of a solo or at least for the choir, [psalm for *Korah]
Denote 2 of the 74 Selah references are in this one psalm/hymn.
God’s Temple is our Refuge, heart’s home
Song begins remembering the temple/tabernacle is beautiful.
My heart longs to be there, my bones ache to sing for joy and know God is alive.
Secondly, God’s house is a place where everyone is welcomed. Even the least little bird (swallow) finds a home at the temple. Who wants the swallow? Bugs, mites, disease, messy? But God’s house has room for all of us.
Bottom line of verse one: People find God at the temple and love to worship when there are in the magnificent gates. Come and find God present in the sanctuary. The ornate nature of the space reminds us of God’s presence and our belonging.
SELAH, pause to praise, breathe and find God with us.
Finding God outside the walls.
It makes us happy to know God is near, even when we are not in this place…
It is a blessing to know God is with us, even when we are not at church…
When you are at home or your place of safety, all is well. You make it through the day back to base, you can breath easy because you are thankful for all that is “home”.
Perspective is looking at the “place of comfort” when you are not there.
The Valley of Baca (Weeping)
Instead of focusing on the being lost, focus on the being at home, where you are.
Happy are those who know the way home. But what of those who have lost their way… those who don’t know where to turn? It can be a comfort, that even though we have gone astray, we know the way home, the way back. the GPS coordinates match up.
Those who know the Strength of the Lord, That’s Us.
BUT VERSE 3
WHEN ALL I HAVE IS A SHIELD
What about those who are outside or
those who have lost their way, or
those who have not heard?
Imagine hiding from the struggles, turmoil and threats in life, picture yourself out in the open, a shield is a protection but only on one side and the arrows are hurling in from every direction: money, hunger, rejection, fear, shame, sin, etc.
When we realize we are far from the walls of safety, belonging and peace.
A place between the House of God and the tents of wickedness.
Our place is between, bridging the gap.
Our Space is halfway in and halfway out.
Claiming Space in God
Happiness is : Content/at Peace/at one/ complete
Shield: temporary help, but we need to claim/reclaim temple life, when there is no temple.
Door Keepers: The greatest service is to be one of the choir members of Korahites, sing so someone will hear and find their way to God.
Happy are those who trust in God
God’s House has room for us all
Someone is living in the valley of weeping adversity
Our place is not in the temple, but out singing, knowing/remember the comfort of home, but reaching out to be shield
Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [NRSV]
- Jesus makes clear his Messiahship: “I am the gate.”
- Salvation comes by entering the ‘gate’.
- Purpose of salvation is to come and go, enter and exit.
- Mother’s Day; We are thankful for those who mother us without smothering us. Protect us without locking us in the tower. Who teach us to trust and forgive. Qualities of the a good gate keeper. But even the best mom in the world cannot provide salvation.
- Abundant life is found coming into the fold as well as going out where the thief, wolf, and searching for daily bread co-exisit.
Don’t stay in, Do follow a voice that doesn’t have your best interest.
10:25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” 29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” [NRSV]
How Radical is My Hospitality?
Our first practice is to be a good neighbor. What does it mean to be a ‘good’ neighbor. Sometime we want our neighbors to be quiet, private and not bother us. I happen to live in a neighborhood where neighbors genuinely look out for one another. But these are not my only neighbors.
There are neighbor that live less then a mile from my house that I have never met, but may know and see my witness.
We are neighbors with those who we work and interact in our daily living. People we know well and those we simply cross paths.
All my life I have heard some one say, “I’m not good a telling about my faith, I just try to live my life as a witness.” I suggest that is very dangerous. What if someone sees us on a bad day? What is the measure if they come in the room when we hear our frustration and fears without the rest of the story?
This story is about the part of neighborhood life that gets messy and involved.
If we are avoiding looking at the poverty, racism, crime, or other uncomfortable things, we are like those who keep their eyes on their own task and missed the neighbor in trouble. The jury is out on a case where the idea of neighbor has broken, badly. <comments on response based on trial outcome>
Just as that story is not in our neighborhood, neither is the Jericho story.
There is part of us that wants to applaud the neighbor who stayed out of the controversy and didn’t get involved in the politics
There is a part of us that wants to exclude the community folks who have important work that
There is a part of us that is afraid that trouble, danger and evil will come upon us if we get involved.
There is apart of us that knows being a neighbor will cost our time, energy, money and heart.
Jesus’s question is on who receives the title of GOOD.
Everyone’s work was important, one was Good.
Everyone’s was involved in some part of the community, one was Good.
Everyone was spending money, time, energy and heart, one was called Good.
Jesus’s definition of Good Neighbor is modeled by the person who got involved, got their hands dirty, got their heart mixed up with dangers and strangers,…
and responding in the way we would want someone to respond if we were in there victims situation.
So Aren’t we Good Neighbors?
The story does not point to how we are in relationship to the people most like us, or near us, our in our own circle, rather
How do we treat people who are different, injured, rejected, in trouble, and difficult.
Good neighboring is not convient, east, comfortable, affordable nor safe.
As the person near you, “Am I a Good Neighbor?”
Encouragement: We need to recognize, teach, model and celebrate when we see Good Neighbor are revealing Christ,
Not for ego’s sake, but that the world might know when Christ has come near in our hearts and lives.