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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Today’s Reading | Psalm 99           

The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
   He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
   he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
   Holy is he!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
   you have established equity;
you have executed justice
   and righteousness in Jacob.
Extol the Lord our God;
   worship at his footstool.
   Holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
   Samuel also was among those who called on his name.
   They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.
He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
   they kept his decrees,
   and the statutes that he gave them.

O Lord our God, you answered them;
   you were a forgiving God to them,
   but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Extol the Lord our God,
   and worship at his holy mountain;
   for the Lord our God is holy. (NRSV)

Psalm 99 describes God as a lover of justice. My father loved justice. He was a judge, and two of his four children became judges as well. I grew up surrounded by discussions of the interpretation of the law. I was very perplexed by this. I would try to contribute to the discussion by stating that someone was right or wrong, and the other people in my house would say, “Don’t get upset. We are simply talking about legal and illegal actions, not whether a person is good or bad!”

This was how I was raised. To drive over the speed limit was a choice. To disregard curfew was a choice. Choices had clear consequences, which were upheld and respected. It was always very clear to us kids that we were loved. Yet, it was also very clear that the consequences of our choices would be upheld. I never questioned this. I also never questioned the forgiving love that was shown to me by my parents. That is why at age sixteen I could call my dad at midnight, after having borrowed the family’s SUV three hours prior to take my friend home. I had to ask him to come and get me, as I had stranded the vehicle on the green of the eighteenth hole at the public golf course. Would I get in trouble? You bet. Would I be forgiven? You bet. Would it be many, many months before I drove the family car? You bet.

Moses, Aaron, and Samuel are recognized in scripture as having a very close relationship with God. They called on God. They knew God’s statutes, and when they chose not to follow them, they knew God would address their wrongdoing.

Father God, thank you for your consistent and clear message of love—from the earliest decree, through the actions of those in the scripture, and as it is felt by a child from a loving parent. Amen.

Written by Katy Sinclair, Associate Director of Music for Children and Youth

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