Call on the Name of the Lord

 

Call on the Name of the Lord (Psalm 116)
One only has to look at the Psalms to realize that for centuries God’s people have called on the name of the Lord. In times of joy, Psalm 17 reminds us that God is listening and rejoices with us. In times of despair, Psalm 51 reminds us that with God we are made new. In times of seeking, Psalm 86 reminds us to honor God in our prayers and actions. And in times of need, Psalm 141 reminds us that God answers when we call. These are but a few but all examples of God’s presence no matter what we are facing, especially during our current world crisis.

No matter where we find ourselves on the emotional and mental spectrum (like our Psalms), God’s presence is available. Within the Easter story alone, we see this presence and are reassured by God. On Palm Sunday, God was with Jesus in the garden in prayer. On the cross, God shook heavens and earth to make God’s presence known when Jesus called on God’s name. At the resurrection, God appears to the women and disciples showing the hands and feet. And on the road to Emmaus, God makes their hearts burn with a desire to know this God.

The ancient liturgy is that we call, and God is present.
There is a familiar hymn that attests to this presence when we call, I Come to the Garden Alone by Deniece Williams. It’s words are poignant during our isolation:

I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses
Chorus: And He walks with me and He talks with me, And He tells me I am his own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known

He speaks, and the sound of his voice is so sweet The birds hush their singing, And the melody that He give to me Within my heart is to ringing (chorus).

I stay in the garden with Him, Though the night around me is falling.
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling (chorus).

May we call on God’s name during these times and find comfort in the presence of God that never fails.
 
Pastor Jana Creighton


Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday was yesterday. Church’s across the world began the 40 days of preparation for Lent with ashes on our foreheads and penitence in our hearts. Here at SOPC, we heard the Psalm plead for the Lord to Create in us new hearts and the Words of Matthew bring us hope as the refrain echoed ‘Be Still and Know That I AM GOD’. It is this confession that marks the Lenten season for Christians. Part of our Lenten call is to honor this confession and display faith with our actions. Fasting, meditation, Sinking into the Word, Circling our prayers, and humble prostration (literally laying down our lives before God) are all ways in which we seek and embrace God’s call in our lives. This Lent, what does fully devoted discipleship look like to you? You are each invited to participate in our Lenten study utilizing Mark Tidsworth’s 40 Days of Prayer: Preparing Ourselves for God’s Calling. You will alternatively find a daily devotion available in our Sunday bulletins as well as a message like this on social media to better embrace God’s call. You might also adopt a discipline and practice listening for God singly or in a new Lenten small group. Whatever path God is calling you to this Lent, you are invited to rest and ‘Be Still and Know that ‘I AM GOD’.


Letter From Jana–Giving Thanks!

 
Dear Friends,

In a few short weeks we will sing ‘Silent Night’ on Christmas Eve and wonder at the child that has come. This is God with us, Emmanuel.  God wasn’t required to send Jesus to live among us. But because of the depth of need in humanity, Christ was sent nonetheless. In Christ, this is the reason we are sent into the world as well. In Christ, God gave everything. This very gift is the reason we share gifts with those around. It is also this attitude of gratitude that has been living around SOPC as we tend to the need within our own humanity. Three examples for you:

Read more…