Summary: King David shares with us some key concepts of the Contemplative Life - 1. It is a life of Realized Humility 2. It is a life invested in Study, Stillness and Silence and 3. It is a Life founded in Hope in God

Scripture: Psalms 131; Isaiah 49:8-16; Matthew 6:24-34

Title: The Contemplative Life

King David shares with us some key concepts of the Contemplative Life - 1. It is a life of Realized Humility 2. It is a life invested in Study, Stillness and Silence and 3. It is a Life founded in Hope in God


Have you ever found yourself envying the life of a dog or cat? One person listed these five reasons why they envy their dog:

+They are allowed to lay around or sleep most of the day

+They get to hog the bed

+Everyone wants to feed them

+They get all kinds of free back massages

+They never have a bad hair day

In our family we have these two wonderful border collies, one fantastic little sheltie and an adopted outside orange mackerel tabby cat. I cannot begin to tell you the pleasure and joy we all experience sharing life with them. At times that life is hectic; especially in the mornings when it involves meal time. Or when the two border collies are playing Frisbee trying to avoid the cat who does his best to jump in every now and then. Sandi, our sheltie has decided that with all that activity she just likes to sit on the porch and watch. More than once she has been bowled over by a mad crazed border collie trying to catch a Frisbee.

And then there are those other times. When all of them take some time and simply lay down and rest. Over the years I have noticed that all three dogs enjoy their own time out period. Each of them will go to an area of the house and lay down and rest. The cat of course just finds a sunny place and settles down for a long time of rest. I am not sure he is doing anything more than being lazy but of the four animals it appears that he takes his rest time more religiously.

Over the years, I have been amazed at how they are able to shut the world away, get away from all the noise and take some time to rest. I have also watched that afterwards they seem to have more strength and are ready to engage in some play time or one on one time. They seem to need those quiet moments of rest and repose.

We can see parallel patterns in other animals as well. This is especially true of the golden eagle. Each day the golden eagle has to fly up to its centering place. It's a place where they are able to quieten down and regain their strength. Afterwards they are able one more to soar into the heavens and hunt for their food and take care of their families.

In our Gospel reading our LORD makes some similar statements concerning the birds of the air and the grass of the fields. They also know how to rest in the Lord's care and protection. They seem to know that everything is in the Lord's hand. They instinctively sense that the Lord their God will take care of all of their needs.

But what about us this morning? Are we able to do what all these animals, the birds and even the grasses of the field are able to do? Are we able to find a life of contentment? Are we able to find a life filled with inner peace and serenity? Or are we condemn to a life of relying on things like Xanax. Librium, Valium or Ativan? In our modern nanosecond world are we condemned to live a life filled with anxiety, worry and angst? Does the LORD have an answer to all of this?

I am so glad you asked. It allows us this morning to turn back to one of the greatest little songs in the Old Testament. We find it in Psalm 131. Psalm 131 is only three verses long, but, those three verses are packed with great spiritual truth and enlightenment. The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon referred to Psalm 131 as one of the shortest psalms to read but one of the longest to learn. He said that it's " a short ladder yet one that rises to great height."

Psalm 131 has also been called the Psalm of Contemplation. It has been called the Psalm of Realized Humility, the Psalm of Interior Silence and the Psalm of Steadfast Hope. Let's take a few moments and reflect on this Psalm as it reveals to us some ways that we too can experience a life of peace, contentment and tranquility. And who this morning doesn't want a little more peace, contentment and tranquility.

Notice that our psalm comes from the hand of King David. Now, we don't know when David put these words down to parchment but as you study the life of David I believe we can be certain that they come later in his life. The words of someone who has experienced his share of real life and has found that inner peace and tranquility one needs to exist in such a life.

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