Rev. Charles Svendsen
Scripture: Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 and Mark 4:35-41
Pastor Charles' Warmup for August 27:
This Sunday, August 27th, we have two remarkable and relevant Scriptures before us: Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 and Mark 4:35-41. Psalm 107 begins the fifth and last Book of Psalms, mirroring the five Books of the Law.
Our NRSV pew Bible titles Psalm 107 "Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Many Troubles." And that it is. The psalmist begins, "O give thanks to the Lord who is good, whose mercy endures forever."
Gathering to give our thanks to the Lord is what believers do in worship week by week. When times are good it is natural to offer our thanksgivings to a good and gracious God. But when days are difficult, the psalmist encourages us to give thanks all the more. In the very next breath the psalmist sings, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so." And what are we saying? "Thank you, Lord, you are good!" Yet the psalmist's context is not thanksgiving during easy times, but in troubling days. The psalmist finishes, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those the Lord has redeemed from trouble."
Our lives, our church, our nation and the nations of the world live in troubling times. What is our first response? The psalmist answers us: "O give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good." On Sunday we will sing in our traditional service (9:30 am) three sturdy and thoughtful hymns. In our contemporary service (11:15 am) we will sing a joyous variety of songs more recently composed. We also welcome Mende Miller for a Moment for Mission about her recent trip to Ukraine with Impact Ministries. This Sunday we will celebrate our monthly Service for Wholeness.
We will worship with thanks on our lips and gratitude in our harts this Lord's Day. As the redeemed of the Lord we gather on Sunday to "say so."
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters;
they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their calamity;
they reeled and staggered like drunkards, and were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out from their distress;
he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”