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?
Have you ever met someone famous?
I saw the queen once (she didn’t see me). I got Phil Thompson’s autograph at Anfield (he used to play football for Liverpool). I chatted to the guy from Spooks on Wandsworth Common.
They were all a bit underwhelming (no offence).
The experience of meeting our heroes tends to be a bit of a letdown – they are rarely as good as we think they are – and we can be very disappointed.
Our psalm writer appears to have seen someone famous – he’s seen the Lord. The first few verses suggest that they have had a vision or seen something amazing about God:
1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. 2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3 Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. 4 His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory.
What a vision. This is not underwhelming. You may have heard of God, but when you actually see Him – WOW! And it’s not just for you or me – it’s for the whole world – “let the earth be glad, let the distant shores rejoice.”
This is the God of the Psalms. Not someone who looks good on TV, but in person is not that amazing. He is the real deal – and when you meet Him it is amazing.
So, how should we respond? What is the best way to respond to seeing the awesomeness of God? Well, how about this:
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
When you see God in His power, his greatness – and his global reach – then our hearts and minds should say “God, I want to live your way, not my own.” When we see how holy God is, we should want to run from evil and run towards good.
And the psalm finishes by telling us what the fruit of this is:
11 Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.
Seeing God, and turning away from evil brings light and joy. Let us choose it today.