How do you get over a tryptophan ‘hangover’? GIVE THANKS! Its a bit ironic that we will be having a Thanksgiving celebration the Sunday after thanksgiving, yet, that is exactly what we are going to do.
When it comes to ‘Thanks – – giving’, what is your story? Out text for Sunday will come from Psalm 107 and Psalm 136. Over the past two years we have heard the word hesed spoken in different contexts of worship. Hesed is a Hebrew word to describe God’s love. Its very hard to translate into one word in English. Combine love, mercy, kindness, and grace and you have the definition of hesed.
Psalm 107 and 136 recount God’s love for his people. There is special mention of those who ‘have wandered the wastelands hungry and thirsty’, who ‘are in prison of darkness and suffering’, who ‘are suffering because of their sin’, who ‘are blown and tossed about by the wind and waves,’ who ‘experience plenty and abundance and then the bottom drops out in famine, drought, and sickness.’ In each circumstance God calls on his people to give thanks. “Give thanks to the God of heaven.”
Sunday, November 25th, we are going to give thanks together as a community for the stories that God has given us. As you read Psalm 107 and 136, reflect on how God’s hesedintersects with your story. Maybe you will be led to share something about this in worship Sunday as a witness of and testimony to the great love of God at work in your life.
See you Sunday and before then, have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Special Service this Sunday, February 5th, 9:30am: Gratitude – What’s Your Story?
Come ready to participate through listening and sharing together in what God has done for you, what he has brought you through in 2016, and your prayers for the new year 2017. We are planning spaces for open mic time Sunday for sharing about what God is doing in your life. Maybe there is a Scripture verse, or a short story of a struggle, a praise, a word of gratitude, a prayer that you would like to share of God’s leading in your life.
As we share these things in our worship together, we will be building a cairn of sorts of remembrance – a visual expression that represents our prayers and stories of hope and gratitude. So whether you participate by verbally sharing or not verbally sharing, we invite you to participate in building a pile of standing stones as we support and celebrate God’s faithfulness to us as a community of faith.
The picture above is a picture of Ein Gedi. It is an natural spring oasis in a sheltered cliff valley near Qumran and Masada in the country of Israel. It was a place where David would find shelter from his enemies. Probably a key place where he and his fighting men would find rest and safety. I wonder if he wrote some of the Psalms in Scripture from this very place.
In the desert, the spring of Ein Gedi is a place of refuge. May this space of worship Sunday, be for us a Ein Gedi, a place of refuge – as we recount together the journey that God has for each of us individually and as a community.
Deone and I will forever remember our experience of Ein Gedi. Below is a picture of Deone and I at Ein Gedi in 2009, as we jumped into the refreshing waters of its springs.