Reflections – November 2015

The Longest Psalm
Well, we made it.  Over the last several years as I have preached through the Psalms, psalm by psalm, with breaks here and there, I would sometimes be asked the question, “What are you going to do when you get to Psalm 119?  Are you going to read the whole thing during the service?”  I would love to think that behind this second question was the desire for a “yes” answer, but I believe that this is not likely.  I wrestled with the question myself … do I preach through it slowly?  Psalm 119 is an acrostic.  Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is assigned to a different section.  Within each section, the first word of each verse begins with the letter that was assigned to that section.  It is an A to Z psalm which focuses on the Word of God.  So I could have gone through it slowly.  Or maybe I could have just assigned you the task of reading the psalm and given sort of an “introduction” or “summary” type sermon, where we would talk about Psalm 119 without really focusing in too much.  I thought about it on and off and then the time for a decision was upon us.  I have decided to meet in the middle.  So come ready in November to reflect on the following topics from Psalm 119 related to the Word of God:

Keeping the Word of God (v. 1-8)
The Value of the Word of God (v. 71-72)
Hope in the Word of God (v. 113-120)
The Truth of the Word of God (v. 160)

Maybe a challenge you could accept is to read Psalm 119 once / week throughout the month.  You will benefit.  When I was first learning how to walk as a Christian, I was taught something called the “wheel” … here it is:

Inline image 1

Christ at the center, the obedient Christian living a life of prayer, witness, fellowship and study of the Word.  Psalm 119 is all about the Word and its benefits, but touches on all of the spokes above.  As I have grown as a Christian, I can only say that what was once a “what kinds of things I need to do to be a good Christian” kind of picture, is almost a “living” picture now  … these spokes are more than things we do, they describe the nature of our relationship with Christ – hearing Him through the Word and speaking to Him in prayer – and our relationship with neighbor, brother and sister, living lives of witness before the world and fellowship with other followers of Jesus … It is good to be able to “roll along” with you as we follow Christ together.

The end of November will mean the end of our current Psalm series and the beginning of a new series focusing on the birth of Jesus from Isaiah 9.  I am looking forward to it all and am glad to be your pastor.