April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday Worship

I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.
—Luke 19:40
A brief, online worship service for Palm Sunday, designed for those sheltering in place during the covid-19 pandemi
  • Greeting
  • Opening Prayer
  • Scripture: Luke 19:28-40
  • Meditation
  • Communion Prayer 
  • Lord's Prayer
  • Sharing the Bread & Wine
  • Blessing
  • Response: Go Now in Peace

Their Voice Goes Out

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
Ps. 19:1-4a

The 19th Psalm is as confusing as it is glorious. The heavens declare and the firmament proclaims, days and nights both speak. And yet, as if in the same breath, the psalmist declares that there is no speech, no words, no voice. This is followed immediately by the declaration that there is indeed a voice, and there are in fact words.

What's going on here? I think the answer is obvious: The psalm isn't contradicting itself. I simply need to broaden my definition of language. I might

April 4, 2020

Let the King Live!

The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.
Ps. 18:46

Calvin points out something interesting here. He says that one possible translation of the first part of Psalm 18:46 is Let the Lord live! Grammatically, this means interpreting the verb to be in the optative mood. This is the way we might express ourselves should we say, Long live the king! We see this more clearly in other languages such as German (Es lebe der König!) or Spanish (¡Que viva el rey!), where the word "long" isn't used at all—instead they simply say, "Let the king live!"

So how might that make a difference in the way I read this beautiful little

April 3, 2020

Lord of Hosts

He made my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
Ps. 18:33-34 

I think of God as a God of peace, and the Christian religion as being opposed to war. But that's not necessarily consistent with the images I find in the Bible. Israel's God is often referred to as the Lord of hosts (i.e. armies), and there are more stories of the Lord waging war in the Hebrew Bible than making peace. And even in the New Testament, militaristic imagery is prominent, such as Jesus' use of the sword metaphor and "the whole armor of God" passage in