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Let Me Tell You What God Has Done for Me - Psalm 66 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Tsang   
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 11:44

 

Last Sunday was the final calendar day of 2017 and it was an appropriate time for us to think about the past year and to reflect on how God has carried us through, blessed us, or taught us lessons along the way. So we ended our year with a testimony and sharing service with the theme of Let Me Tell You What God Has Done for Me (Psalm 66:16). It was so good to hear from so many of how God has been good and faithful to you!

By way of orientation, we looked at Psalm 66. Psalms teach us how to pray.  The Psalmist began with the big picture; he declared the mighty power of God in the world and in history (66:1-7). Then the Psalmist reflected on how God has led the faith community. The pronoun used is ‘our’ (66:9-12). In this section, it takes a turn toward troubling waters, some rough terrain, and storms of life. “You refined us like silver, brought us into prison, laid burdens on our back, let people ride over our heads, through fire and water.” These poetic images do not paint a rosy picture of life. It was a shared common experience of hardship, suffering, exile, and imprisonment. But the Psalmist doesn’t leave us in the storms of life; he concluded this portion with,” but you brought us to a place of abundance” (66:12). He came to the point where he was able to enter into the temple, to worship, and to make offerings. What takes you and I to read in less than a minute in real-time, must have taken the author a lifetime of spiritual formation.

 

Then the Psalmist was able to speak about what “God has done for me” (66:12). A personal experience of God is crucial … but only when it is seen in relation to the faith community and to what God is doing in the world. So often, we begin with “What has God done for me?” and we fall into the danger of a “vending machine" type of God. What God has done for me disconnected and isolated from what God has done for us, and is doing in the world will lead us down the same dangerous path as this world – one of a self-centered individualism, couched in religious feel good language. We must be very careful about this! And by praying with the Psalms, we find our rightful place - what God has done for me in relation to my faith community and what God is doing in the world.  As we begin a brand new year, may we learn to pray better.

 

Peace and grace, John

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 January 2018 09:38