Direction amid the tumult


Direction amid the tumult

Worship the LORD in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, "The LORD is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity." Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with his truth (Psalm 96:9-13).

As situations reach a crescendo or climax, factors escalate, don't they?

In music, the notes approach tonal and harmonic intensity.

In drama, relationships approach the height of tragic confusion.

These days, in politics strategies become more pointed -- propelled by the approach of the 2012 presidential election.

In finances, we wonder whether economies will collapse or recover. Do we all tighten our belts and purchase less? Do we fasten our seat belts and ride roller-coaster stock transactions?

Faithful relationship with God

Scripture may not provide a map that directs us through the specific details of today's financial or cultural landscape. No references to the Dow Jones will be found.

But Scripture does say much about the perspective provided by a faithful relationship with God. By resting first on the solid soil of knowing that God is, always was and always will be in the midst of human rhythms, our feet can step through the events that require our attention today.

Jan Richardson, artist and author, reflects upon Jesus' ability to navigate the resistance that the authorities were presenting as his ministry unfolded. He relied upon God's power every moment, knowing that it was the solid assurance of wisdom and truth.

"It’s one thing to know the surface of the scriptures, and another thing entirely to enter the Bible as a place where God meets God’s people," she says.

"Entering the biblical text with the desire to meet God enables us to frame our questions, and to respond to the questions of others, in a dramatically different way. When we travel the scriptural landscape as a pilgrim open to the presence of God in every place, rather than as a tourist who thinks we know everything about a place because we’ve visited it a few times, we cultivate a humility that fosters the kind of clarity and imagination that fueled Jesus’ response to his interrogators."

What unfolds when we read a passage like the one in Psalm 96 before (or after) we listen to today's newscast? How does God's presence and ultimate authority help us navigate the storms of today? Will you rely upon the solidarity of faith?


Originally posted October 27, 2011, at Faith Formation. Republished with permission of the author. Find a link to Pamela Czarnota’s blog Faith Formation at Lutheran Blogs.

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