6/05/2007

God watches over the strangers

Here's this week's "Opening the Bible" blog entry for i.ucc:

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I’ve often said that the Psalms are excellent tools for inspiring us and moving us and showing us that in our celebrations and in our despair we are not alone. Others have been there before and others have felt the emotions we feel. God has been present through the best and worst times in our lives and the lives of others. I’ve also said that while the Psalms are wonderful poetry, I’ve often said that the Psalms are excellent tools for inspiring us and moving us and showing us that in our celebrations and in our despair we are not alone. Others have been there before and others have felt the emotions we feel. God has been present through the best and worst times in our lives and the lives of others. I’ve also said that while the Psalms are wonderful poetry, they are not good sources to look for God's promises. They share the beliefs of the writers – but not necessarily universal truths. Sometimes we might be tempted to look at these wonderful songs and make them more than they are, but when we do that I think we make a mistake.

Psalm 146 is one where we often take that step. When we see, “God . . . executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. . . lifts up those who are bowed down. . . loves the righteous. . . watches over the strangers. . . we want to say. “See – look at all God does! The Psalm proves it!”
Instead, I think we can be inspired by the deep and profound experiences the writer of the Psalm had. Experiencing God’s care for the oppressed, the hungry and the strangers is something that moved the Psalmist. From our lens of faith and our lens of love for God and for all humankind we can be inspired to do the same. We can sing songs of praise and reach out to our brothers and sisters in need.

I believe God watches over the strangers. I believe God watches over all.

2 comments:

Sam Greening said...

Yes, psalms are the prayers of some of history's faithful - they are often prayers we might agree with, sometimes prayers we'd never pray. They aren't prooftexts anymore than hymns from the 1974 UCC hymnal are. But they are nonetheless important and should be read, prayed, sung by the faithful even today. If for no other reason than to help us keep open minds. They display a full range of human emotions - something many Christians are afraid to do in their prayers.

Kirk said...

Well said, Sam. I completley agree.