Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Focusing on the good things the psalmist does, what are they? He sings "a song of thanksgiving," walks with integrity, tells about deeds God has done, and is faithful. Also, according to verse 8, he loves the place of worship because God's presence is there. It makes me think of our music group on Sunday morning, standing in front of the altar and singing songs of praise.
posted by Susanna King 6:44 PM
Monday, August 30, 2004
What makes verse 18 interesting to me is the verse that precedes it, implying that "nations that forget God" also forget the needy and the poor. The people of the United States do so much to help others, but is the mindset of lifting others up, of brining hope to the poor part of our identity as a nation? I hope we don't allow our leaders to dismiss these good works. Verses 19 and 20 ask God to judge the nations, and "put them in fear... let the nations know that they are only human."
posted by Susanna King 7:39 PM
Friday, August 20, 2004
There must be a typo in Forward Day By Day, because the verse the writer wrote about isn't in this psalm*. Nevertheless, I read Psalm 143. A lot of psalms ask for "deliverance from personal enemies." I am thankful that this isn't something I've had to deal with, but if I ever do I'll know where to look for solace.
*It's actually from Psalm 141:3.
posted by Susanna King 6:28 PM
Thursday, August 19, 2004
I can picture the contrast between Philip and the eunuch in this passage: one a raggedy prophet walking down the road, the other a grand official traveling in a fancy chariot. Sometimes I can be intimidated by the trappings of importance. This story shows that even people who seem to have it all still have spiritual yearnings, and could welcome one who will help them.
posted by Susanna King 6:02 PM
Friday, August 13, 2004
This psalm is a prayer for healing. The psalmist has a terrible illness, and it seems he's almost given up hope of survival. Almost, but not quite: he still finds hope in God.
posted by Susanna King 10:14 PM
Thursday, August 12, 2004
What strikes me when I read this psalm is how the story of God's deeds on behalf of his people spans many generations. A promise made to Abraham is fulfilled in Jacob, for instance. These days it seems people don't have the attention span for a narrative that lasts a few months, let alone several decades. Perhaps it's important now and then to step back and recount the things God has done in order to see the whole picture.
posted by Susanna King 7:56 PM
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
There's a lot to think about in this exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Like, why does he tell her that he's the Messiah, but expects others to figure it out for themselves? And what is "living water"? Is this what we're baptized with when we're baptized in the Spirit?
posted by Susanna King 7:56 PM
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Verses 18 and 19 are a surprising moment of hope in the midst of a psalm about vengeance. I had these verses written on a stick note at work for months (the NIV, which has beautiful language here). I like the image of God holding me up, keeping me from slipping. I once fell over a waterfall. It was one of the scariest, most out-of-control things I've ever felt. When my life starts getting out of control, I picture God's hand holding me up so I don't go over the edge.
posted by Susanna King 7:55 PM
Monday, August 09, 2004
It's easy to read a passage like this and simply dismiss the healing miracles Peter and the apostles are performing. After all, that sort of thing doesn't happen nowadays, does it? Well, I have seen it happen twice, and once was last night, which makes this story all the more relevant to me. If God is still willing to work miracles today, why not go out and live your faith boldly?
posted by Susanna King 6:25 PM
Saturday, August 07, 2004
I need to remember that this is the psalm about God and time, and about how God sees time differently than humans do.
posted by Susanna King 11:54 AM
Friday, August 06, 2004
The writer describes how he also has been transfigured by God's presence, how his life has changed. I don't know that I could pinpoint one moment, but I do know that God seems to have claimed my life for his purposes. Yesterday, I thought back to my time at the Art Institute and imagined what would've happened if I'd done just one thing differently. I realized that it could have changed my whole life from that point forward. I might've been better off in the eyes of the world, but, recalling how spiritually fragile I was at that time, I probably wouldn't have made all the good decisions that brought me to where I am now. I'm thankful that God allowed me to see myself "non-transfigured," as it were, so I can truly appreciate who I am today.
posted by Susanna King 6:39 PM
Thursday, August 05, 2004
The writer has a powerful story today about how Jesus is the only one who can save us. I think it's important to remember that "there is salvation in no one else" (vs. 12). Peter and John believed that with such passion that they didn't stop preaching even after they got arrested.
posted by Susanna King 5:50 PM
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
I find the first stanza of this passage (97-104) interesting, the idea that incredible wisdom can be found by meditating on God's law. However, this doesn't mean that if you read the Bible constantly you'll know more than everyone around you - God does not give wisdom exclusively to one person. No matter how wise you may be, there is someone else out there with an equal or greater part of wisdom, and someone who knows things that you don't.
posted by Susanna King 11:21 PM
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
If someone asked me, "Who are you?" how would I answer? John the Baptist answered not with his name or his heritage, but rather with his purpose. Who am I? The one who sings and draws little pictures.
posted by Susanna King 6:16 PM