Summary: The importance of worship in helping us stand firm against many of life’s challenges and temptations.
Let Us Worship And Bow Down (II) -
Time In God’s Presence
CALVIN CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH
Time In God’s Presence p.1
Max Lucado tells a traumatic tale - a chapter in the life of a parakeet named Chippie. It began when the
bird’s owner decided to clean his cage.....
.....with a vacuum cleaner.
She was almost finished when the phone rang, so she turned around to answer it. Before she knew it,
Chippie was gone.
In a panic she ripped open the vacuum bag. There was Chippie, covered in dirt and gasping for air. She
carried him to the bathroom and rinsed him off under the faucet.
Looking at this dripping mini mass of poultry, it dawned on the owner that Chippie was cold and wet......
so she reached for the hair dryer.....
A few days later a friend asked Chippie’s owner how the little parakeet was recovering.
"Well", she replied, "Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore. He just sits and stares."
Sometimes life can do that to us, can’t it? We feel sucked up, washed out and blown away by one
struggle or another.
The song is gone.
All we feel like doing is sitting and staring.
On a collective scale, the comfort, security and insular nature of life in North America was blown away on
September 11. War came to our shores on a scale not seen since the American Civil War.
The four planes blew it away in a few mind-numbing minutes.
Then the anthrax - invisible attack by an unseen enemy.
Airlines going bankrupt; company cash flows decimated; holidays cancelled; armies mobilized and borders all
but sealed ----
Western society tries to shake off the daze.
For the first time in years America has a Secretary Of Homeland Defence.
People are left in a climate of fear.
I received a package in the mail this week from Florida.
It had been ripped open at customs and torn to shreds.
On this Remembrance Day, when we salute all those who fought in wars past, fought to secure our nation’s
freedom, and protect the peace in which we seek to raise our children and live our lives –
we are keenly aware again how fragile that all is.
We’re face to face with how quick the slip is, how steep the drop, away from peace and into chaos.
We, as a society who thought we had it all, have discovered that all we have is not too terribly much......
...... not really.
Welcome to the club, David would say.
I’m referring to David, king of ancient Israel and legendary hero of the Jewish people. Their flag bears his star.
If there was someone who knew both sides of the fence:
- the side of good times and power
- and the side of suffering and pain
that would be David.
Royal King David had begun life as a poor shepherd’s son. Was plucked from there under rather strange
circumstances into the service of the king. Fought giants. Became best friends with the king’s son. Later
became king himself. Led Israel on an unparalleled time of national expansion and conquest. Accumulated
vast riches. Was a musician of significant skill. A poet.
Time In God’s Presence p.2
David also was plotted against in a coup attempt by his own son, who was killed when David’s army counterattacked.
There were years in David’s life when he didn’t know if he would live to see his children grow up – in
the days before he became king, the reigning monarch pursued him with an army, intent on killing him. There
were years of tremendous unrest that David experienced along with the entire nation of Israel:
- times when they were hit on by bands of guerrilla fighters who had the sort of resilient stealth that we
see in Taliban fighters today.
- times when huge armies massed on the borders intent on crushing the Jewish nation.
David faced not only enemies outside. Along the way he was surprised by sinister elements in his own
character, heart and mind that he didn’t even know existed – that led him to adultery and murder.
And then there were the times that his family, including his own wife, scoffed at and ridiculed him.
What kept David from turning into Chippie the parakeet – perched on some little branch, staring ahead,
all sung out?
Psalm 27 gives us the answer - a poem that David wrote.
Let’s read it together –
This is a poem written in two distinct units. Perhaps the writers among you noticed the division - comes at the
end of verse 6.
The first section is one of great confidence.
The second one sounds a note of lament.