This Sunday in our worship services, we will spend some time in Psalm 22.
The final 10 verses of the 31 total verses in Psalm 22 are powerful.
They are powerful probably because of the first 21 verses.
At the conclusion of choir rehearsal this past Wednesday evening, we took the time to look at and respond individually/personally to the (4) prayer journaling "prompts" prepared by Ramon Presson.
In his fourth and final prompt, Ramon makes note that the psalmist, David makes a shift from gut-wrenching lament and desperate plea to proclamation. He goes on to say that given that it's not merely a sudden mood swing, what then do verses 22-31 tell us about the value of rehearsing the truth of who God is?
Rehearsing anything is usually in preparation for something important - presentation or performance. The Dictionary says rehearsal is "a session of exercise, drill, or practice, usually private, in preparation for a public performance, ceremony, etc"
The importance of rehearsing truth has become very important to me these past several weeks of my life. You probably relate. It really seems sometimes as if the psalmist wrote the EXACT words that I would write. I have been pretty brutally honest with God lately. I've been angry, frustrated, and yes, even felt somewhat abandoned.
I know better. The only reason I know better is because of my faith in the truth. Jesus said it - "I am the way, the truth, and the life." - John 14:6
My friend Jeremy is going to sing an old song at the beginning of our services on Sunday to help us "rehearse truth". The song, "In His Sanctuary" was written in 1983 by Michael Hudson and Michael W. Smith.
As I was looking for a recording of this song to play for Jeremy, I had searched everywhere I could and finally e-mailed Michael W. to see if he might know where to find a recording. Amusingly, he did not remember writing the song. (He also never recorded it, which might explain in part why he does not remember writing it!) Considering the hundreds of songs he has written and considering I don't remember very many details of my life from 1983, this is pretty understandable, but still funny!
Here are the words to this song - the second verse has become my personal theme for the week.....
IN HIS SANCTUARY
by Michael Hudson and Michael W. Smith
©1985 O’Ryan Music, Inc. / ASCAP
Life can bend and break me
But the Father has a way of keeping me together
through the burdens of the day
He tells me “Come away, it’s time we had some time alone”
And ev’ry time I come away it feels like going home
In His Sanctuary there is glory, there is strength.
In the Presence of the Father there is wisdom, there is peace.
I will come and worship.
I will listen, I will speak
Most amazing conversation, most amazing transformation,
As the God of all creation talks to me.
Nothing I won’t show Him,
Nothing I can hide.
I’ve never known a burden that was better kept inside.
How many times I’ve known the joy and found that sweet release,
And worry turns to worship,
And burdens turn to peace.