to Worship, Psalm 41
context: Israel in exile
notice God’s new work
43:16-18 Thus says the LORD, who
makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, 17 who brings out chariot and
horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are
extinguished, quenched like a wick: 18
Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.
yet to come
“Pastor, we don’t like change”
– one charge with Mountaintop, Rippletown, Stairville, Slocum
Methodist Episcopal Society separates, constituted in 1880
– tearing down an old church building and relocating it (1926)
& corn roast feasts
this church, the memorial stained glass windows
new thing at Christ Church: Care ministry – Mike Case story (video)
Isaiah, God calls upon us to forget the former things and to perceive, to
notice, the new thing springing into life, to pay attention to the NOW. Yet,
instead of typical language calling people to attentiveness, to slow down, to
“be still and know that I am God”, we get a very interesting and unconventional
way to be present in the now: to practice praise and generosity (not separate
things here) as God’s forgiven people.
43:21-25 the people whom I formed
for myself so that they might declare my praise. 22 Yet you did not call upon me, O
Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
23 You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings, or
honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, or
wearied you with frankincense. 24
… But you have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your
iniquities. 25 I, I am He who
blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your
has not burdened us with demands
burdened us? But … the tithe, the Sabbath?
should making time for those who love us best be burdensome?
should giving gifts to those who give us the best be inconvenient?
money, but our FAITH
money, but our HOPE
money, but our LOVE
is why talking about generosity – appropriate talk – is
doesn’t need our money: “The cattle on a 1000 hills”
is a giver … to become more generous is to become more like God
Practice thanksgiving (follow up on the
Imagine the future God has for you, and for us
together, write down your thoughts over the next couple weeks.
Pray over what God is calling you to give to
participate in the new things God is doing. Next week is not about arm twisting