Saturday, March 16            Psalm 27            Rev. Steve Heyduck

The Lord is my light and my salvation. Should I fear anyone? The Lord is a fortress protecting my life. Should I be frightened of anything? When evildoers come at me trying to eat me up— it’s they, my foes and my enemies, who stumble and fall!
If an army camps against me, my heart won’t be afraid. If war comes up against me, I will continue to trust in this: 4I have asked one thing from the Lord— it’s all I seek: to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, seeing the Lord’s beauty and constantly adoring his temple. Because he will shelter me in his own dwelling during troubling times; he will hide me in a secret place in his own tent; he will set me up high, safe on a rock. Now my head is higher than the enemies surrounding me, and I will offer sacrifices in God’s tent— sacrifices with shouts of joy! I will sing and praise the Lord. Lord, listen to my voice when I cry out— have mercy on me and answer me! Come, my heart says, seek God’s face. Lord, I do seek your face!
Please don’t hide it from me! Don’t push your servant aside angrily— you have been my help! God who saves me, don’t neglect me! Don’t leave me all alone! 10 Even if my father and mother left me all alone, the Lord would take me in. 11 Lord, teach me your way; because of my opponents, lead me on a good path.
12 Don’t give me over to the desires of my enemies, because false witnesses and violent accusers have taken their stand against me. 13 But I have sure faith that I will experience the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! 14 Hope in the Lord!  Be strong! Let your heart take courage! Hope in the Lord!

In some traditions, applause for someone’s performance is unacceptable, even considered disrespectful. Within such a tradition, the applause is seen as taking the focus off of God and onto a performer or performers.  This is seen as wrong because worship is always about God.

Of course, there are many things other than “to applaud or not to applaud” on which faithful, well-intended followers of Jesus can disagree. How one ought to dress for worship, and whether food and drink belong in the sanctuary or not, to name just two.

What is important, of course, is that we recognize that worship is always about God, whether or not we agree on these lesser matters.

Psalm 27 can truly help us focus on “keeping the main thing the main thing”; or, making sure worship is about God.  Take a few moments to read the Psalm again, focusing on how it can help you keep yourself focused on God.

What does it say about God? What does it say about the Psalmist’s relationship with God, and expectations of God?

Prayer: God, help us to have the awareness that you hear our prayers.