Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

                 Mission as sharing Christ

                               Psalm 85

                          Monish K. John,

                    Chicago MTC, Illinois


“Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” (V: 10)

In Psalms 85, we can see FACTS (faith, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication) of prayer elegantly blended. This song by the Sons of Korah exhorts a meaningful corporate worship, and beseeches divine forgiveness, blessings, and grace for the land. When we study the Korah’s in scripture, their revolt against Moses, and Aaron, the subsequent wrath of God upon them, the magnanimous Divinity, and God’s redemptive plan for them will add contextual meaning on our understanding of this Psalm. A clan that could have been extinct in God’s displeasure was spared from complete elimination.

During our Holy Communion, we witness the celebrant interceding for the entire people. Here we see the psalmist interceding for the entire land, and its dwellers. Remembering God’s favor that we enjoyed, remembering the forgiveness that we received is paramount for restoration. When we see the providence in personal, family, and community lives, collectively as faith community, we are indebted to be filled with an attitude of gratitude. A heart filled with gratitude brings natural appreciation to the provider. A heart filled with gratitude is ready to seek required restoration in our private, and public life. Sincere prayer of restoration will bring revival, and revival brings greater opportunity to rejoice. As children, we have at times gone astray and the pleas by our parents have restored us. Similarly, a constant watch for “faith life drift” is required. We have the right to ask our Lord, “Will you not revive us again?” (v6). We also have the right to demand of our Lord “Show us your steadfast love, O Lord” (v7). The only quality we must possess is a contrite heart, and the very realization that we have drifted from His plans.

Lord God is peace. Even when we are awash, the one triune God is patient to bring us back to His peace so we shall not perish. When we are faithful, we and the land shall receive the peace and restoration. We know from our childhood, and Sunday School days, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. “ (Proverbs 9:10). This very fear of God, faithfulness to His omnipresence in our lives, and in our land is essential to inherit salvation in personal, and community life. We personify steadfast-love, faithfulness, righteousness, and peace in our parents. As children of God we must remember, these personified attributes reflected in our earthly parents are an inheritance from God.

The text from President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving (Oct 3, 1863) is contextual, inspiring, and augmenting “……They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice …... And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience...”

When God’s steadfast love meets the faithful, and our faith is found qualified in the sight of our Lord, the Lord’s peace will dwell among us, God’s righteousness will dwell in the land and God will provide what is good and the land and dwellers will prosper. Restoration brings Revival, Revival brings Rejoicing.

                            PRAYER

Father God help us to remember Your favors, help us to be faithful to You, restore us in Your steadfast love, and righteousness. Be with us, and the land we share. Amen.

                  THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

Faith restoration brings revival, revival brings rejoicing.