The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living
Psalm 27: 11-14
"Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage; and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." (KJV)
Reflection by Kenneth L. Samuel
Sometimes religion can be a means of escape from the urgent realities of now. Gradualism has not been a friend to those who have for centuries been made to suffer the indignities of racism, sexism and heterosexism. Only those who are free from the pressure of persecution can afford the luxury of prolonged, incremental change.
The Psalmist possesses a faith that is not just eternal but imminent. It is a faith that does not just hope for the best; it is a faith that anticipates the realization of hope. What keeps the Psalmist faithful is the anticipation of hopes and dreams that are expected to be realized in this life. No pie in the sky bye and bye when we die, but something sound on the ground while we're still around–this is the faith of the Psalmist.
"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
Faith to believe in God's ability to make dreams come true in our lifetime is what gives gay people the impetus to marry and women the impetus to seek entry into clubs for men only and a black man the impetus to run for President of the United States. Waiting on the Lord does not put our dreams on indefinite hold. Waiting on the Lord places our dreams on an immediate process of unfolding.
"Wait, I say, on the Lord," and let the realization of our heart's desires begin now!
Lord we thank you for a faith that gives us the impetus to manifest your goodness and your greatness NOW, henceforth and forever more. Amen.
|About the Author|
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.
ON ANOTHER UCC FRONT
IN WAUKESHA WIS:
On Sunday last, a group of people from the First Congregational Church UCC had a Valentine Luncheon Social
at East Terrace, a next door apartment building for the elderly, disabled and/or low income residents. Some folks of the church thought they could reach out to the East Terrace residents; their disabilities or income status might not allow them to get out much. So the UCCers (Congo-ites) brought a party to them.
There was chili and fruit kabobs and a church member MC-ed a 'Remember?'quiz game. Some of our children brightened the day.
Those who participated reported having a good time on both giving and receiving ends.
Yesterday a woman from East Terrace came on her walker to deliver the attached note to the church office:
"To all who were doing the chile luncheon on Sunday.
I would like to say thank you
from the bottom of my heart;
I really enjoyed it.
God bless you all.
Today there is a monthy birthday party for the East Terrace residents where all those who have birthdays in February get a piece of cake. Waukesha UCCers are delivering some cakes from their kitchens. Dee baked a red velvet cake with cherries suggesting a Presidents day theme and the cherry tree motif.