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Into the Great Wide Open

May 12, 2020

“Yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.” Psalm 66:12b

Yesterday, we sat with Mary at Jesus feet and listened. We, too, are called to speak. Our psalm for this coming Sunday reminds us how to respond to the Word who speaks to us: “Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard” (66:8). God speaks grace and mercy, we sing thanks and praise, an eternal conversation between God and God’s people.

Many of you have told me how much you miss singing hymns and liturgy together on Sunday morning. I know you are singing at home (hopefully loudly enough to cover my singing as it comes through your screens), but it’s not the same. We yearn to be together, for we are meant to be together. Apart, perhaps, we may wonder where God is in all of this.

Psalm 66 speaks of God as the One who brings us through trials and nets, who knows our burdens and sufferings, who journeys with us when we walk through fire and water. The psalmist even suggests that some of these trials are laid upon us by God.

But the psalmist does not suggest that God leaves us there.

God leads us out to a spacious place.

Doesn’t that sound good right now?

We are cloistered away from one another, but still God speaks. Our world groans under the weight of suffering, but still we lift our halting hymns to God. God, the psalmist proclaims, “has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me” (66:20).

Sometimes we sing to God because God has brought us into the wide-open fields of grace and mercy. And sometimes we sing to God in anticipation of a future not yet realized. But still, we sing.

Bless our God, O peoples. Wherever you are, let the sound of God’s praise be heard.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of hope, in this narrow present keep our eyes on the wide-open future you have in store for us. Give us peace and patience while we wait, that we may wait safely. Remind us that there is no need to rush. Christ will lead us out. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The Lyles in a wide-open space after climbing Thunder Mountain in California, July 13, 2019.

From → COVID-19

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