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Sunday, November 23, 2014
Christ the King Sunday
O worship the King, all glorious above!
O gratefully sing God’s power and God’s love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
O tell of God’s might; O sing of God’s grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
those chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form;
and bright is God’s path on the wings of the storm.
Robert Grant’s “O Worship the King, All Glorious Above!”
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal
You may recall the tragic earthquake that devastated Haiti in January of 2010. An estimated 3 million people were affected by the quake, and though we cannot know for sure, it is likely that more than 220,000 people died from it. Morgues were overwhelmed by dead bodies, and eleven days after the earthquake the government of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, officially called off the search for survivors.
I’ll never forget watching the news on television one evening two weeks later. Search efforts had begun to wane. Still, small groups of individuals sought to find their loved ones buried beneath the rubble. It was one of those desperate efforts that a news camera caught on tape, and it happened to be one of the last successful rescues. From beneath layers and layers of rubble, a woman was pulled out alive. The camera caught her thin, collapsed body being carried by a few good men, and as I beheld this most remarkable scene, I was even more astounded by what I heard. She was singing. With a parched, frail voice, the woman came out singing.
Because of the singing, I will never forget that moment. I knew neither the song nor the words she sang. I did not understand the language in which she sang, and yet I felt as though I knew exactly what she sang, because as she was singing, I too was praising God, the God who raised her out of the rubble.
I imagined her song telling of God’s power to save her, to shield and defend her, to bring her into the brightness. I do not know what she actually sang. It is simply because of my own faith that I imagined the song as one of sheer joy and amazement at God’s saving presence in her life.
God, make your saving presence known to everyone who needs your protection. In the end, let everyone come out singing. Amen.
Written by Joyce Shin, Associate Pastor for Congregational Life
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