The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
“I won’t keep you for a minute, because I know you are busy.”
I took a phone call this week, and this line I thought signalled the end of our conversation. In fact, what then followed was a five-minute monologue from my caller about them. Now whilst this person is a particularly good chatter, what it highlighted is one simple fact – we like to talk about ourselves. Some of us may be reluctant in the beginning but ask us the right questions, and we are off – talking about our own lives, thoughts and feelings.
Psalm 107 begins with an invitation to do just that:
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
Let those who have encountered God, tell their story. The rest of the psalm is just that, the writer is telling stories of what God has done for Israel (the redeeemed of the Lord) – particularly in the Exodus. Most of the psalm describes what God did in delivering Israel from Egypt. Although, there is one section that tells a story of those who went to sea:
23 Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. 24 They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep.
I’m not quite sure why this bit is in the psalm – but it explains why psalm 107 is loved by sailors.
However, we have a story to tell. In fact we have two stories to tell.
The first is the “old, old story”. The Old Testament tells the story of the Exodus again and again. I am invited to tell the story again and again, of what Jesus has done on Good Friday and Easter Sunday – He died for the world, and defeated death. This is part of the reason that Christians share bread & wine, communion with each other so often. Because we tell the story again.
The second is our own story, of what God has done for us. Of how he has worked in our lives, of miracles, of changed character, of helping us through tough times. Tell this story over and over again – to anyone who will listen (but don’t go on too long!).
The final verse says:
43 Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.
Tell His story to yourself, and to all who you meet.