Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Eighth Sunday after Pentecost: July 22nd, 2012

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Eighth Sunday after Pentecost: July 22nd, 2012

These devotionals are to help you prepare for each Sunday to come in the Christian Calendar.* 

[8] There is none like you among the gods,
O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
[9] All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
[10] For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
[11] Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
[12] I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
[13] For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

[14] O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
[15] But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
[16] Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
[17] Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
Psalm 86:8-17 (ESV)
The church calendar reminds us of something deeply significant and yet often overlooked, namely that time is sacred. Throughout the year, there are seasons of intense anticipation (Advent), illumination (Epiphany) and fasting and reflection (Lent). No less important is what the church has called Ordinary Time, an extended season between Easter and Advent, where we focus on ordinary and daily expressions of a life in communion with an incarnate, crucified and risen Savior.

David in Psalm 86 makes grand statements about the unrivaled supremacy of God (“There is none like among the gods, O Lord...all the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord” vv. 8-9) while at the same time commits to walking in His truth (v. 11). David does not pledge to leap, dance or even to run in God’s truth, but rather to walk in it. Walking is daily activity, often methodical and ordinary, always moving ahead. It is constant and persistent. And so, David’s plea is that the extraordinary reality of God inform the ordinary realities of his life. While moments of great spiritual intensity and awareness certainly exist, David’s prayer here is that moment by moment, in the everydayness of life, his experience be informed by the regular habits of living before God.

This prayer leads immediately to its climax, “unite my heart to fear your name,” which is a reminder that when our regular lives are lived apart from God -- when we are not walking daily with him -- our hearts can quickly move from being whole to becoming slightly frayed to thoroughly unravelling and becoming undone. Yet when we live our lives before God, our hearts can be rewoven. For David, and for us, what fills the profane with the sacred, the ordinary with the extraordinary, is a constant and regular walk in God’s truth and a knitting together, a reweaving, of our hearts through worship and fear of God. Can you see God doing extraordinary work amidst the ordinary? Is God both the One to whom all nations will come and the One in whose truth you walk each day?

 

John C. Lin, Downtown Lead Pastor

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer

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