As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Psalm 42:1-2
What do you long for? Really, what do you long for? Many of us long for the day when we can meet with family and friends without restrictions. Many of us long for the day when we can return to the sanctuary without restrictions. Many of us long for the day when we no longer need masks. Many of us long for the day when we get “back to normal”.
But really, what do you long for?
Do you long for God? Do you truly long for God? What does it even mean to long for God?
The Psalmist describes this as a deer needing water. And that is a pretty good analogy. We’ve all been thirsty. Over the past few weeks it’s been so hot and humid that I’ve taken plenty of water breaks while cutting the lawn. I truly longed for the water. But do I long for God in the same way? Do you?
Sometimes it is hard to just stop and wait on God. There are so many things to be done, there are so many voices shouting at us, so many differing opinions that we sometimes cannot truly stop long enough to even know what we need.
But, and this is important, we need to be in the quiet, we need to be in situations where we can truly contemplate what it is that we need. And when we do, when we are in the quiet, in the silence, in the calm, we feel our need, our thirst. And that is good – for when we thirst for God, God responds in incredible ways.
I asked the congregation to submit lines of the Apostles’ Creed and this is what we put together:
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Mt.14:28-31
I have asked the congregation to video parts of the Apostles’ Creed. I’m attempting to create a video “mash up” for online worship and I’ve gotten some feedback from congregation members saying they are not technically adept at doing this.
Okay I get that, however in March I had precisely six days to figure out how to record and upload a Sunday worship service. In a matter of hours, we went from “we will hold worship as long as we can” to “sorry, the sanctuary is closed”. I have not had any video training and have learned the “sink or swim” method to provide on-line worship content. Since those early days, the service has improved (at least I think so), and I’ve done a lot of other creative on-line things.
This brings me back to the Apostles’ Creed. I want to create a mash up video with various members speaking different lines. I’m asking members to do a short line of the creed. You may think that is hard, but it is the easy part. I need to figure out how to do the overall video. And I have no clue…yet. But I will figure it out if you do your part.
Brothers and sisters, can you please step out of the boat and walk on water? This can be a great thing!
But only if you have a little faith in what you can do.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:1-5
You could say we are living in a time of darkness right now, a time of uncertainty, a time of mistrust, a time of crisis. So many things are going on that propel that darkness – the ongoing virus that still limits what we can do, ongoing protests against racial inequality, ongoing battles that try to undermine the peaceful protests and undermine the battle against the virus.
Many people are posting about their heart’s mission during this time as well – I’ve seen more posts against human trafficking lately (and I applaud those bringing this issue into the light). It seems there is no end to the list of things we can battle against. And think about it – that’s the point. We live in a fallen world that is filled with darkness.
But there is light. In the beginning, when God started creating, God said “Let there be light.” And as John has told us, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.
Brothers and sisters, the darkness shall never overcome the light. Even in these days of ongoing strife, the darkness will not overcome the light. Especially when we follow the Light, for He said “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).
See how it works? The Word (Jesus) is also the Light, and He, dwelling within us, makes us the light. We are to shine. Even in these difficult days, shine with Christ’s light. It will make all the difference.