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April 3, 2016 - Being Like a Tree Planted By Living Waters - Psalm 1

posted Apr 20, 2016, 1:25 PM by Grant Garber
  • It is striking to me how much pessimism there is among us.
  • One of the great ironies of history is that in times of great depression and adversity, people tend to pull together, work for the common good, and reassure themselves that tomorrow will be better.  But in times of relative prosperity, like we live in today, we each tend our own gardens as rugged individualists.
  • Whenever it was that we dismantled all traditional claims upon the individual’s life, we were assuming that everyone inherently knew who he or she was and what they wanted in life.  But the terrible irony is that, by removing the individual from our great traditions, we only made it impossible to know ourselves or our purposes in life.  That has left us each with the impossible burden of trying to create a good life.
  • As the psalmist today claims, we are like chaff blowing in the wind.
  • The alternative the Psalmist presents us is to be a tree planted by streams of water.  That is what worship is all about. 
  • To plant yourself by this stream is to come to worship, week after week, where you are reminded that your identity isn’t a construction of choice but an inheritance.
“liturgy”  =  “laos” – “public”
“ergon” – “work”
“private/personal rituals”  =  “orgia”
  • The only thing that keeps our worship from digressing into an orgy of private religious feelings is if we leave here renewed in our identity and our mission.
  • We don’t worship for our sake; we worship for the sake of the world.
  • Real change will come when the people who worship rediscover their holy visions of our life together.  We don’t transform our society by starting with our leaders.  We start with the led – with you and me.
  • We can be that kind of church.  We can be a tree planted by streams of water…whose leaf does not wither.
Pastor Jim Spon | Psalm 1