From the Community Lay Director

 
– – March 22 2020 – –

BE STILL AND KNOW – Psalm 46

Hide me now under Your wings, Cover me within Your mighty hand
When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the storm,
Father, You are King over the flood, I will be still, know You are God
Find rest my soul in Christ alone, know His power in quietness and trust.
When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the storm,
Father, You are King over the flood, I will be still, know You are God (Soar,Hillsongs)

After the planes crashed into the twin towers and the Pentagon in 2001, and the plane crashed in PA, and anthrax started showing up all over the place, there was a lot of fear in our nation. I remember that year serving on a leadership team for the Walk to the Emmaus, the theme being “ Be Still and Know’ and the Scripture Psalm 46. I found the song I quoted you earlier and pondered its meaning of quietness, trust, and stillness before God. And now in 2020 we are in a situation that has happened on earth many times before but not in our lifetimes, a biological threat, the Coronavirus. The last time a threat like this occurred was in 1918 in the great influenza epidemic. The reality hit me very strongly Thursday March 12th. I had just arrived home from a wonderful district spiritual retreat about finding hope and faith in times of certainty. First, came an email that the Kairos outreaches were cancelled, then an email that church services were cancelled, then an email that the men’s Emmaus walk was postponed. What in the world is happening? Social distancing, staying at home, schools and businesses closing, I had never ever seen this before! Where is God in all of this?

For caution, to save lives, to prevent the spread of the disease to the most vulnerable, in person church services have been closed. But the church is not closed. As one person observed, the church has left the building. The building is not the church. WE ARE THE CHURCH! And church is about gathering to worship God and receive the Word of God, and the church is about scattering to be a blessing to others. A creative way to gather to hear the Word of God is by this livestream from Facebook. This is the first time I have ever attempted anything like this, but I believe God wants to use this medium to reach some of our folks. I will try other means to reach those without internet capacities.

So, lets look at our Scripture, Psalm 46. It was written by the descendants of Korah, by those who assisted the priests of Solomon’s temple. It was written to be sung by a soprano voice or voices. It was and is a song of deliverance, a song of praise to our God. It begins with GOD, who is our refuge, our place of safety as Psalm 91 tells us, and our strength as Isaiah tells us. God is right now a help for us in our time of trouble. God sees us and is with us to come to our aid. Because of this we do not have to be afraid. God did not give us the spirit of fear but one of power, love, and a sound mind. No matter what comes against us, God is greater. God is the Creator and the Ruler of the Universe. Nothing and no one will knock Him off His throne. God rules!

At this point the text has a Selah, which is a call to pause and ponder what has already been sung. It is an interlude, and there are three in this Psalm. So, we move on and focus on God being refreshment to His people like a river is to a city. God lives with His people, Emmanuel, God with us. God’s protecting hand is over those who love and serve Him. Despite all the chaos around us God rules, the God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, our fortress, the Most-High God whose voice thunders against chaos. Another pause to meditate and ponder.

God reveals His power in the mighty acts of nature, in His work in human history, in His powerful acts in Israel and through Jesus Christ, through what He has done in our own lives. We are overcomers through the precious Blood Jesus poured out for us for our redemption, by the word of our testimony and by being fully dedicated and committed to follow Jesus.

God tells us directly to quiet down, to stop fretting, to focus, to be still and Know in our hearts that He is God! He will be honored by every nation; every knee shall bow and every tongue declare that He is Lord of all. The Commander in Chief of the armies of Heaven is with us. He is our safe place! Ponder this in our hearts! God is the true King of the World!

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore; rejoice, give thanks, and sing and triumph every more. Lift up; your hearts, lift up your voice, rejoice, again I say rejoice!!!!

His Kingdom shall not fail; He rules oer earth and heaven; the keys of earth and hell are to our Savior given. Lift up; your hearts, lift up your voice, rejoice, again I say rejoice!

When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will rise with You above the storm Father. You are King over the flood, I will be still, know You are God!

De Colores!
Paul Beighley
Community Spiritual Director