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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Today’s Scripture 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) 

Who, what, where, when, why. Those aren’t just the questions probed by journalistic endeavors. They’re also the questions answered by our faith story. Ours is a faith grounded in history, set in time and place. Ours is a faith of relationships—relationships between God and God’s people and between God and God’s people and the world. Ours is a faith story with whos, whats, wheres, whens, and whys.

Today’s psalm reminds us of that, of God’s working in the world, of God’s relationships with people. There is Moses, Aaron, and Samuel. The Exodus. Specific people, specific times and places and events.

And unlike the fertility gods of season and crop, the gods of accumulation, wealth, and dream, God is not one set apart, a one-directional god whose chief aim is seeking to be appeased and gifted, receiving sacrifice and praise. Ours is a God who enters into active relationship with God’s people—for their sake. A God concerned with executing justice and bringing equity. Ours is a God who makes his dwelling among his people, establishing his tabernacle among them, becoming Word made flesh.

The story of our faith is the story of a God who is present—present with generations in their time and their place, in all of their whos, whats, wheres, and whens.

Why? For God so loved the world.

God of earth and sea, of time and place, of generations past and future, let me never forget that you are present in all of my todays. Great and awesome is your name. All praise to you. Amen.

Written by Ann Rehfeldt, Director of Communications

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