Friday, January 9, 2009

The Word for Today - Daily Office

Psalm 122:1-4 [A pilgrim song of David] When they said, "Let's go to the house of God," my heart leaped for joy. [2] And now we're here, O Jerusalem, inside Jerusalem's walls! [3] Jerusalem, well-built city, built as a place for worship! [4] The city to which the tribes ascend, all God's tribes go up to worship, To give thanks to the name of God—this is what it means to be Israel. 

COMMENT: This is what it means to be Israel... so Peterson paraphrases the end of verse 4, a phrase that is typically rendered: a statute (or ordinance, testimony, even sign or reminder) for Israel... What the Psalmist seems to be saying is simply this: God's people were constituted from the very beginning to be a people of praise... It is the worship of this particular, sometimes rascally, and always inscrutable and untame God - that constitutes the people of God.

God enters into covenant with Abraham with a call to worship - Walk (live) in my presence and be wholly mine... offer your very body (and life-force) as a sign of the covenant (Genesis 17). We are constituted as a people of worship. 

God sends Moses to deliver Israel from the clutches of Egyptian power, and Moses storms into Pharaoh's throne room with God's demand: "Let my people go, so that they may worship me." The power struggle between Egypt and Yahweh is, in essence, the competing loyalty that lies at the heart of Dylan once penned, "You gotta serve somebody..." And we do. What it means to be Israel, however, is that we stretch out our hands in thanks and praise (the literal translation of the Hebrew yadah) toward the God who names us, owns us, redeems us, leads us, provides for us, and makes absolute and radical claims upon us...

And so we respond to the God who has reached out in mercy to us, embracing us in love...   

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. (Romans 12:1, The Message)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1, NRSV)

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-- the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (Romans 12:1, NLT)

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small. Love, so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all (Isaac Watts, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross)

Soli Deo gloria

No comments:

Post a Comment