Speaker 2:0:17so we've been working through the book of Psalms together. I'm highlighting different types of psalms kind of as we go. Um, I hope that you've seen that, uh, uh, the Book of Psalms, uh, is, is a very rich but has many, many different types of psalms for every occasion. And the one we're looking at this morning is psalm 1:36, and this is a psalm of thanksgiving, a som meant to be sung, um, when God has done a mighty deed and our life, and to give thanks to him and it was actually meant to be, uh, uh, used, um, by, uh, by, uh, congregation together as a call and response. Um, if you look at it, it has this reframe that repeats over and over. His love endures forever. And, um, if you've not been paying any kind of attention, you can probably guess what that word love is, is his sad, right? It's God's faithful covenant. Love his love he has for his people that endures forever. So I want us to do this psalm as a call and response together right now. My part will be, uh, will be all the different stuff and you're part will be his love endures forever. So even if you're not looking at it, when I stopped talking, you can just say his love endures forever.
Speaker 2:1:54here now, the word of our Lord give thanks to the Lord. For He is good. Give thanks to the god of Gods.
Speaker 2:2:10give thanks to the Lord of Lords to him who alone does great wonders. Who by his understanding made the heavens who spread out the earth, the palm, the waters who made the great lights, The sun to govern the day, the moon and the stars to govern the night to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt and brought Israel out from among them with a mighty hand and outstretched arm to him who divided the Red Sea, a sunder and brought Israel through the midst of it, but sweat pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea to him who led his people through the desert who struck down great kings and killed Mikey kings, Cyan King of the Amorites and o King of the Sean and gave their land as an inheritance inheritance to his servant Israel, to the one who remembered us in our low estate and freed us from our enemies. And who gives food to every creature. Give thanks to the God of Heaven. His love endures forever. This is the word of God may find its way into our hearts and lives this morning by the power of his Holy Spirit. Amen.
Speaker 2:4:36So there's a story about a famous rabbi named Belle Shem Tov. And, uh, he had this practice once a year on a certain day, he would go into the forest and there was just certain spot that he knew to be a holy spot and there was a, there was a certain place where he would light a fire and, um, he had certain words that he would pray over the fire. And, uh, he taught his disciples to do the same. Well within a generation, um, uh, the, this group of disciples on a certain day, they would go to a certain spot and they would pray to certain prayer, but they no longer lit the fire because they re they had forgotten where and how he had done it. A generation after that, uh, the disciples on the certain day went to a certain spot in the forest, but they no longer lit the fire and they no longer said the prayer because they have forgotten the exact words that the rabbi, Rabbi had taught them. And uh, and so now they just, they felt it was enough to be in this holy place in the forest. Well, after a generation, I'm the disciples had forgotten a what place and in what Boris, the generation after that, they had forgotten which day they were supposed to do it, so they were no longer able to meet on a certain day. They were no longer able to go to a certain spot in the forest. There were no longer able to, to, to light the fire in a certain way and say a certain prayer
Speaker 2:6:27but all was not lost because they were still able to gather together and tell the story.
Speaker 2:6:36You're still able to gather together and tell the story, see long after we have the details long after we have, um, uh, the, the evidence, right? We still have the story, don't we think about our own lives. That's the story that had been passed down through our families. We, we no longer know exactly where some of them occurred. We no longer have the, uh, the, um, the first I, but we still have the story and we still tell them and we still pass. The stories are powerful. Things that keep the memory alive. See the events of the exodus, which we spent last year, so we've going through and which this psalm, we just read a recount. The events of the vagus have been lost to history. If you go back to, uh, the, the, the writings of the Egyptians, you'll find no mention of a group of people called the Hebrews. You, you'll find no mention of a pharaoh and his army being drowned in the Red Sea. Those events have been lost to history archeologists going out into the Sinai wilderness looking for evidence of a nation passing through for 40 years on their way to the promised land they've been scouring, looking for, uh, for four pieces of pottery. The tent pegs. Anything you haven't been able to find it.
Speaker 2:8:30Uh, there's no record in the writings of the Canaanites, of, uh, of the battle of Jericho and they can't find where the wall bow or even the site where the original Derek Ho probably existed because cities move and get renamed to get renamed, get renamed. But we gathered this morning because we have the story.
Speaker 2:9:02Story is a powerful thing, isn't it? It keeps the memory alive. Now there's a saying in archeology, I'm, it goes like this, a absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and here's what that means. Just because you can't find a pot, a piece of pottery or a tent peg doesn't mean it didn't happen, right? The fact is time is unkind, right? Every year it was an inch of Sand Lake and the Sinai wilderness and over thousands of years, all of that stuff is buried. Ever been like at the back of like a graveyard, like the old part where all the old stones and maybe you see one night laying on the ground and uh, and you and you look at the stone and the writing has kind of worn out. You can see like the, the ridges were ragging was, but you can't really make up what the person's name was and what the dates were. That tombstone is probably 150 years old and a thousand years. Will anyone happening on that stone even know there was anything remarkable? A bag, it will just be another rock lying in the grass time, weather and wind and sand. So unkind.
Speaker 2:10:40Four thousand years of of Sinai sand has buried all evidence of God's deeds, wiped it for memory. And yet we have the story and the story, the telling of the story keeps it alive. History is quick to forget the deeds of God,
Speaker 2:11:08but so are we. We're quick to forget the deeds of God. This like, um, well if you're on your facebook feed, those of you that have facebook, there's this new thing that they do. Um, it's called your facebook memory and usually in the morning, like one of the top things on your feed will be this memory right from 30 years ago or from four years ago from five years ago. And it's something you posted that some dark algorithm decided to, uh, to, to bring back to your memory today. I love, I loved the speech or there's a lot of things I hate about facebook, but I love this. It's like this reminder of something amazing that happened, right? It'll be a, something cute and profound that Nora said that I had to rush out and tell the world world. My daughter said this, right? And or, or a video of a, of, of, of William, I'm singing, you know, I'm in the kitchen making up a song or, or Savannah at Disney world with their pudgy belly and her, her fanny pack, right? And, and facebook, we'll call it to mind and I'll go,
Speaker 2:12:28I'd forgotten about that
Speaker 2:12:33now. At the time, for whatever reason I decided I have to memorialize this, right? This thing she said, it's just too cute. I have to let everyone know about it and I have to write it down. So, you know, it's remembered for all time, dear Internet. Right? But it gets buried in our facebook feeds, doesn't yet other things happen. And other things happened and other things happened. Like, oh, look, here's a cat playing a piano, right? And, uh, and they get buried and they get pushed down, right? And he just kind of forget about them. We do these things in our own minds to, right. God does these amazing things for us and we think, I'm never going to forget about this, right? The answered prayer. Um, the, uh, the, the, the word of wisdom that someone spoke to you just when you needed to hear it, the coincidence is to coincidence he to be a coincidence, right? That thing you think I am never going to forget this. The mountain top experience. I'm going to cherish this forever. I then it gets buried in ship sand here, inch of sand there and pretty soon it's forgotten pretty soon it's forgotten.
Speaker 2:14:10So I was going to this local pastor school thing this week and I was calling up the guy, his name is Al Shaver who's in charge of it and I was like, what do I need to bring? And he gave me a big list of things and then at the end he said, bring your hand. No, because, uh, because we're going to teach you how to use it. And I was thinking, teach me how to use it. Someone says turn to page 78 and I turned the page 78. That's how you use it, right? We need a whole class about that. But the more I thought about it, if I were coming to like, you know, deciding to be a methodist pastor and I'd come from a Baptist tradition, this book might not make a lot of sense to me. Right? The way it's arranged, like what's all this stuff and upfront front about communion and baptism. Um, you know, why are the hymns arranged the way they're arranged. Um, what are these responsive readings in the back? These indexes are d's here to help me. Um, you know, it might actually be kind of complicated to someone that hasn't used all their life,
Speaker 2:15:18but there's one, especially to read one, sorry, it is just second nature to me because I've grown up with it and I kind of know it backwards and forwards. Some of you know, the Brown Cokesbury book that way. It's always been your book. Um, you know, if I mentioned him and I'm texting to Marjorie and say, can we do this him on Sunday, just this week. She said, can we do it in a Cokesbury? I think it's from her memory. She was able to tell me, you know, what number to him, number six, I think it's 43 and I looked at 43 and it was 43, right? She was right. She knows that book backwards and forwards, right? These hymnals are our books. We instinctively know what songs we sing, um, which occasions and why I bring that up because the Hebrew people have a hymn book too. It's the book we've been reading the book of Psalm when they, uh, when, when they gather and worship together, even today and synagogues, what they're singing is the book of Psalms in Hebrew.
Speaker 2:16:42And, and, and, and, and they know it backwards and forwards and they know which songs are supposed to be sung. Um, which occasions. And that can be a great help to us.
Speaker 2:16:55I went back this week and I learned about this psalm 1:36. When are you supposed to sing it? And it's fascinating. Really. Psalm 1:36 is, is called the hallel Haka Doll. You don't have to remember that, but what it means is this, the big hallel, the hallel or the big praise, right? This is the big one. This is the firework. You save for the end, right? Um, the, the hallel Haga Dole, the big praise is, uh, is, is meant to be sort of a climax and worship service is that when you build up to and um, and, and there's, there's two times especially that you're supposed to sing this song, give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever. His two times specifically, one is at the very end of the Passover meal. When you've had your four glasses of wine, you're Philip Lahm, all that bread and you're laying back and saying that was a good meal, right?
Speaker 2:18:04Then you sing the song might give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever. This is the big one. And then there's another tradition when you're supposed to sing this song at the end of a famine, at the end of a drought, when you've been fasting. So you've been, you've been fasting through this drought and on the morning that finally rains, right? You break your fast and after you've had that big celebratory meal, you sing the song. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever, right? When you're satisfied, you're like, it doesn't get better than this. God is good. You mark it. You mark it with the big praise, the big one, hopefully so that gets fixed in your memory because the song, the song reminds us that even though we forget, even though we've forget God's deeds, God doesn't forget us. God doesn't forget us.
Speaker 2:19:26His love endures forever. The song opened by talking about how God was at work and creation, but it doesn't end there. Some people feel like God created the world and then he laid back and he, he, he forgot about us, but that's not how the song goes. Then we were slaves in Egypt then. Then God sent a plague thing. God delivered us a. Then God brought kings down before us, right? Every time there was something in our way, every time we said, how can we possibly get through this? God came through because his love endures forever. Love endures forever. This song reminds us that even though we forget God, doesn't, God always has us on his mind. His faithfulness is whatever we forget, don't we? We just let the layers of sand build up on top of God's deeds and were not able to bring them to mind.
Speaker 2:20:42We come together, we worship that is act of remembrance. My Dad's a pastor and I grew up and he will put it this way. He would say, I'm the opposite of remember is not forget the opposite of remember is dismember, right? See, when we come together, where the body of Christ, we go out into the world, what kind of dismembered bodies kind of scattered, and then when we come back together were remembered. We're here together and we're telling the story and we tell the stories that have had been buried and the Sinai desert, and we also tell the stories. We tell the testimonies that have been buried on our facebook feed. Right? We keep those stories alive. We tell what the Lord has done in our lives. We remember, easy to forget, isn't it? The other day I was on my computer, I was looking at facebook and I had a facebook memory from three years ago. I looked at the facebook memory from three years ago and um, and, and, and it was something crystal had posting and it was, our prayers are answered. Daddy's in remission now. Six years ago we learned, um, that, uh, that crystal dad was sick and we were told he had three years to live.
Speaker 2:22:37Three years ago, right at that three year mark, we were told, uh, he's not going to make it till Christmas.
Speaker 2:22:49Everyone prayed, everyone prayed. He went to his appointment and he was in full remission. God gave us another three years. God gave us twice the time. We're supposed to have three more years to make memories. Three more years to say our goodbyes properly, three more years without which my son who adores his ball probably wouldn't have memories of him without those three years. It was a miracle. That night everyone was calling each other. They were crying, can you believe this happened? This is so wonderful. We're never going to forget it. And the next day you go on with your life. And I'd forgotten all about it. Facebook had to remind me some algorithm and your computer somewhere had to dig it back up and say, look at this. Look at what God did for you. I wonder how many of us have those kinds of events in our lives that had been buried in our memory that we were not called up and mark and said, look what God did for us. Wonder how often we go back and we excavate those things from the sand and we bring them to mind and we say, hey everybody, look at this. Look at what God did for me.
Speaker 2:24:30Quick to forget, aren't we bucket? The Nag in which he was betrayed. Jesus brought his disciples together. He broke bread with them. He blessed his cup and he said, as often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me. By the way, for those first Christians, as often as they did, this was every time they got together right? They always had that cup and they had that bread and every time they were together, they remembered Jesus. They told the story of the Gospel. They kept the story alive and then they testified to one another. What Jesus has done in my life today, it's pretty cool when you hear something even cooler. That same night, the gospels tell us, the disciples got done eating that we're going to the Mount of olives, but first the sanger ham. What did they sing? Must've been something from the Hebrew hymn, though. Must have been the one they were supposed to sing after that satisfying Passover meal. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the god of Gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of Lords. His love endures forever.
Speaker 2:26:11You think that song was still ringing in their ears that night? It's pretty catchy. All that repetition, you think that phrase was still on their mind. His love endures forever. When the disciples were were sitting by the campfire, Jesus told them to stay awake, stay awake, and they had just drank like four or five glasses of wine and had their fill of meat and bread and her eyes were getting heavy like some of Y'alls eyes are getting heavy right now. Right? Listen, he said, stay awake and I wonder if as they were drifting off, they were thinking of those words. His love endures forever. I wonder if if when Jesus was a what was praying in the garden that night and he had, he had, he was sweating blood. He was saying, father, let this cup pass from me. How can I possibly possibly Endura what you're asking me to go through? I wonder if if that chorus was singing his head, his love endures forever, and then when they got back together and the people came to arrest him and one of his closest friend March right up to him, kissed him on the cheek and stab them in the back and he saw just how short and how finite human beings love can be. I wonder if that chorus was in his head saying his love, his love endures forever
Speaker 2:27:48and when they brought him before pilot and before Harrigan, before to sing, he had drank and people make up all kinds of lies about him and they charge him a blasphemy. Blasphemy against his own father. They charged him. He was thinking, how can I possibly go through this? His love endures forever. And then when they brought him out to the court, uh, and they stripped him and they whipped him over and over with this, with this, that the cat of nine tails and people spat on him and they hurled all kinds of insults against him and they put that crown of thorns on his head and he endured it for us. Was it in his mind? Was he thinking his love endures forever? And then when they brought him in front of the crowd, the crowd that just a week ago, they'd been waving palm branches saying Hosanna in the highest blessing is him. Comes in the name of the Lord and now their fists or in the air towards this or in the air. And they're saying, crucify him. What's he thinking of his father's enduring love? When he went through that, we carried the cross up the hill.
Speaker 2:29:11We felt the iron nails go through his flesh. Was he thinking of his father's enduring love when they now can take a crossing, lifting him up? Did that killed the song? Do you think that killed the song? Surely He was thinking of his father's and during love. When he looked down on this, this mob of cowards and traders and thugs and said, father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Well, when you look to his side, he must have been thinking of this bothers enduring love. When you look at the IEP and I, and he said, surely this day you will be with me in paradise. He must have been thinking of his father's and during love when he looked up into heaven and said, father into your hands, I commend my spirit, give thanks to the Lord of Lords. His love endures forever. He took all of that for us and you know what? It could have stayed buried in our memories. One inch of dirt after the other cookie buried that deed, a love forever. If it were not for one thing,
Speaker 2:30:43three days later, the stone rolled away. Three days later, Jesus came out. The one who has his God's enduring love made flesh. He came out because his love endures forever and now he is alive in our hearts and whatever we go through a non. No matter how bad it seemed, no, no, no matter how how difficult the road looks, we're able to look back and see what God has done and say his love endures forever. We're able to look to our side and see Jesus walking by us and know his love endures forever and we're able to look ahead. We're able to look ahead and be or nothing because his love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.
Speaker 2:31:44I liked that response, but that's not what I was looking for. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. Give thanks to the god of Gods. Give thanks to the Lord of Lords. His love endures forever and the name of the father and the son of the Holy Spirit. Amen.