Just a few notes/thoughts that I’m gathering in preparation for this Sunday’s Psalm (95). Pleeeeeeease feel free to completely disregard….. Jon
LENT 2011- “Inhale” sermon for 3rd Sunday in Lent, Psalm 95
Holding your breath, refusing to breathe
stifling the breath. How do we do it?
God’s life giving breath- creation, valley of dry bones, Jesus with the disciples, day of Pentecost.
From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” 3But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” 4So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Psalm 95 – We are the People of His Pasture
Song used at Feast of Booths?
Definitely a song that invited the people into the Temple, invited them to bow before the King of all Gods, and invited them to hear the message of the day- “Listen and obey”
1O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
- The rock the singer has in mind is perhaps the rock struck by Moses that then sprang a watery leak!
2Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
- There is here no need to claim that there are no other gods. There still is no need to claim the absence of other gods. It’s obvious that there are other gods, but our God is the biggest on the block.
4In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
5The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
- Seems the singer is describing not just the making of creation, but also the making of the nation of Israel in the Exodus.
- The whole world is in his hands.
6O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
- All actions reminiscent of greeting a king.
7For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
- Kings were often described as shepherds and his people as the sheep.
O that today you would listen to his voice!
- “listen” could have been translated “obey”
8Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
9when your ancestors tested me, and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they do not regard my ways.”
- The forty years were a punishment according to Numbers 14:26-28
11Therefore in my anger I swore, “They shall not enter my rest.”
- It’s God’s own people who resist, not creation or the enemy armies.
- God refuses to coerce, so God warns of the consequences of disobedience, but God does not force obedience.
- The disobedience of the people of Israel can be contrasted with Christ’s obedience in the wilderness (Matt. 4)
This Psalm calls for obedience TODAY, based not on our current circumstances so much as it is based on the character and reputation of God (see the Exodus)
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
5So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. 7A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” 17The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” 26Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
27Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” 28Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” 30They left the city and were on their way to him. 31Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” 34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” 39Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41And many more believed because of his word. 42They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
Use story of Moses entry into the water? Potential text interpretation from Louis Jacobs? Israel marched into the sea? Onto dry ground? What psalm is it that says I almost drowned?
Psalm 69 (Moses? As he walked into the water, before it dried up?)
1Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.
2I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.
READ PSALM RESPONSIVELY, EUCHARIST
Common Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Trembling, twitching, muscle soreness
- Headaches, sweating or chills, nausea, dizziness
- Shortness of breath
Here are some creative ideas to use in this series. Some things are Lent related, others are about breathing. Could be used as set up.
- Vigo Mortensen scene when his family finds out about his past and they accept him anyway. (History of Violence)
- Dead Man Walking scene with parents of deceased girl that Sean Penn’s character killed. They ask her (a nun) how she can care for a murderer and she says, “because Jesus would.”
- I Need You to Love Me by BarlowGirl
- Unashamed by Starfield
- CR Testimonies
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYSIWceGMxY educational 48 seconds, vintage clip. would be kinda humorous
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiT621PrrO0&feature=related educational, better than the shorter one, but a bit graphic
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZVjKrmvYYQ song by Sanctus Real
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w70xy8sPEE4 song by Big Daddy Weave (breathe)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S04dci7NTPk asthma video
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHgDQuFrLT4 CPR Red Cross ad
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYNhTOdUzDc&feature=related from the movie The Mission
The Mission (MOVIE PLOT)
- The film is set in the 1750s and involves the Jesuit Reductions, a programme by which the Catholic Church sought to Christianise and “civilize” the indigenous native populations of South America. Spanish Jesuit priest Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) enters the South American jungle to build a mission and convert a Guaraní community to Christianity
- The Guaraní community above the perilous Iguazu Falls ties a priest to a cross and sends him down the falls to his death. Afterward, the gentle Father Gabriel scales the falls and reaches out to the Guaraní. Entering the jungle, Father Gabriel sits and plays his oboe. The Guaraní warriors prepare to kill him, but they are captivated by the music and allow him to live.
- A mercenary and slaver, Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro), makes his living kidnapping natives and selling them to nearby plantations. He cares both for his younger brother Felipe (Aidan Quinn) and his fiancee Carlotta (Cherie Lunghi). Carlotta reveals she has fallen in love with Felipe. Mendoza subsequently finds them in bed together. In his anger he kills Felipe in a duel. Acquitted of the killing, Mendoza spirals into depression. Father Gabriel, who has temporarily returned from his mission and learned of Mendoza’s situation, visits and challenges Mendoza to undertake a suitable penance.
- Mendoza accompanies the Jesuits on their return journey, doggedly pulling a bundle filled with weapons as the party scales the Iguazu Falls. After Mendoza collapses, one of the Jesuit priests, Fielding (Liam Neeson) cuts away the bundle. Mendoza recovers and re-ties the bundle, resuming the grueling journey. Fielding discusses with Father Gabriel that he and the others believe Mendoza has suffered enough, but Father Gabriel replies that only God and Mendoza may decide that. When they reach the Guaraní camp, a member of the tribe cuts the ropes of Mendoza’s burden. Symbolically absolved of his brother’s murder and his past transgressions against the Guaraní, Mendoza weeps and then begins to laugh.
- Father Gabriel’s mission is depicted as a place of sanctuary and education for the Guaraní. Moved by the Guaraní’s acceptance, Mendoza wishes to help at the mission and Father Gabriel gives him a Bible. In a voice-over, Mendoza reads 1 Corinthians 13 as he interacts with the Guaraní, particularly the children. Mendoza takes vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and becomes a Jesuit under Father Gabriel.
(Huffing and puffing and pulling up a chair in front of the computer…)
Just finished my morning run, so I’m short of breath and more than a bit sweaty. TMI?
I’ve not been a runner for very long; in fact it’s only been a couple of years since I started to take my own health seriously enough to move around and do something about it! I knew I had to do something when a card game left me a little short of breath! (Kidding, mostly….)
I’ll tell you this- I’m grateful for all the runners around me who’ve helped me to avoid unnecessary strains and costly injuries. I didn’t know that the right shoes and socks would make such a huge difference; I have now discovered the joy of running with music (and the proper headphones); and the biggest help- I now know how to breathe!
I thought I knew how to breathe! But a couple of folks have helped me to know the power of proper breathing- the mechanics of the INHALE and the EXHALE.
After the run, after setting aside some time to cool down, I take a deep, deep breath.
It’s to the point now that I look forward to that deep breath. It’s more than just the “end of my exercise”- it’s the epitome of a deep, cleansing breath that seems to clear the way for whatever’s next. That may not make sense to some of you, but others of you know exactly what I mean.
And even if you’re not a runner, even if you’re not active, I hope you can appreciate the blessing and power of a deep breath. Take just a couple of seconds for a deep breath right now. Sit back and draw in a breath so big that you feel it in your head, your shoulders, your knees, your toes.
There’s something about a deep breath. It centers; it makes ready; it relaxes.
I hope this Lenten season will be a deep, cleansing breath for you.
Maybe that last sentence surprises you a bit. Perhaps you’ve gotten used to the Lenten season being a dark, reflective, confessional time- a time for sober assessment, a time to acknowledge sin and brokenness, a time to do that painful “look at Jesus- look at yourself and confess the difference” thing. Some people do well to survive Lent, much less enjoy it!
You’re not wrong to think or feel those things. Typically during Lent, we wrestle with difficult passages of Scripture written to challenge us to own our sins, our failures and broken places. To be sure, the Lenten season is a time of brutal honesty, and yes in the process of doing that difficult self-reflection, we’ll find ourselves in desperate need of Mercy, Grace, Hope, Forgiveness.
This year, the challenge and message remains- stare deeply into the mirror and acknowledge your humanity and need for God’s help. But unlike past years, these Lenten Scriptures are a bit different- these Psalms, while acknowledging our fragile, sinful nature, move immediately to the heartbeat of God who isn’t willing to wait until Easter to offer Himself to us. Mercy, Grace, Hope, Forgiveness- all are available to those who recognize their need and are willing to be open and vulnerable to the One who understands us best.
Yes, we are broken, but just as certainly, He is aware of our need and ready to step in.
Take a deep breath. INHALE. If you’ve sensed a lack of wind or breath where your life is concerned, if you know what it means to be deflated, if you can empathize with that old, flat basketball in the corner of the garage, INHALE. God is eager to bring Life back to your Life.
We will together, during the Lenten season in a sermon series entitled INHALE, explore our own sinful nature, but at the very same time, we will listen to the testimony of Scripture as God moves into our stories granting forgiveness and Breath.
You don’t have to wait for Easter for the Good News. There’s Good News to be had now, during Lent. God knows, God understands, God forgives. Now. Breathe.
Then what will we do with the Easter season? What’s left to do? PLENTY! Our Easter season series entitled (you guessed it) EXHALE will demonstrate all that God has in store for us after the hard work of confession and forgiveness is completed. What’s left after forgiveness? LIFE- Resurrection Life, bigger and better than we could ask or imagine, because of His power at work in us, unleashed through our companionship with Him.
But first, we INHALE.
This Lenten season- I hope you’ll participate with us in every way possible. I hope you’ll sense the depth of your sinfulness as you look into that mirror that we’ll hold up in front of you. But at the same time, I hope you’ll recognize the other figure standing at your side. He is there to help us, you and me and all of us together, to breathe.
Enjoy Lent. Really.
CLICK HERE to see a post with last year’s setlists from Catalyst.
Below are a few new songs that are geared toward Lent if your looking to add to the song lists. The difficulty being that the Psalms are a little more hope-filled than other Lenten texts.
gungor – beautiful things
robbie seay – shine your light on us
gungor – call me out
gungor – dry bones
gungor – we will run
john mark – skeleton bones
dc*b – shadows
paul baloche – to the cross (part I)
robbie seay band – lament (we cannot wait)
hillsong united – bones
hillsong united – search my heart
brian doerksen – level ground
vinyard – hungry
matt redman – breathing the breath
matt redman – facedown
hillsong united – forever reign
What songs are you doing this Lenten season?
Because the Psalm offers the forgiveness, we had to figure out how to introduce the conflict BEFORE the teaching (ie. we must confess our brokeness and recognize our need for a Saviour before we can hear that He has forgiven us). Our idea is to provide a way to reflect/confess throughout our time of worship so that when the teaching moment happens, they can be read to show where we are as a congregation. (response cards, txt to a pay-as-you-go cell so they are anonymous)
We also discussed reading the Psalm together, after the message, so we own it. After hearing our brokeneness and failings, and being offered the hope by the teaching of the meaning behind the Psalm, we can read it together as a beautiful response and joyous chorus.
After reading the Psalm, we will be partaking of the Eucharist (communion) every week, as a reminder of the sacrifice had to be made for forgiveness to be possible. It also gives us a chance to teach the importance of the Eucharist.
Some other thoughts that we discussed are as follows:
- yahweh – God’s name is actually the sound of breathing
- singing – a practice that requires us all to breath in and out together (rob bell – why we sing)
- breathe – nooma 14 (rob bell)
- Lamaze breathing exercises – breathing helps us get through extreme pain
- Ruach – Breathe and Spirit are the same word in hebrew
- God inhales – recognizes our sinfulness and draws us in at that moment.
- We inhale – we gain the very thing that we need. you can survive a while without food and water but you cannot survive very long without oxygen.
- During Lent we inhale God through intensive practices of fasting, prayer, Scripture reading.
- God breathes us in, drawing us into relationship, inviting us to be forgiven.
SAMPLE WORSHIP ORDER
confession prayer – txt to false account
1 reflection song
dismiss kids/announcements, etc
read Psalm together
- God breathed creation, life-giving activity, tangible acts of service.
- God exhales – God breathes us out, sending us into the world, inviting us to participate in His mission, to live the redeemed life.
- We exhale – our breathing out is good for all creation, carbon dioxide gives life to the plants and flowers of the world, which in turn, bring us oxygen
- During Easter we need to breathe God back out into our world.
What other creative ideas can you add to make these times together impactful?
Here is a list of songs that we put together a while ago to help with Epiphany planning. These are songs that are getting at the heart of the season itself, not necessarily fitting in a certain Sunday’s text or series.
David Crowder*Band – Birmingham (We Are Safe)
Hillsong – Salvation is Here
Hillsong – Freedom is Here
Gungor – Brighter Day
Mike Crawford – The Woman at Jacob’s Well
Mike Crawford – Words to build a life on
Gungor – The Earth Is Yours
Stanfill – Lord of All
David Crowder*Band – Here is Our King
Paul Balouche – How Great Is The Love
David Crowder*Band – Heaven Came Down
David Crowder*Band – Oh the Glory of it All
Robbie Seay Band – Hallelujah, God is Near
David Crowder*Band – Alleluia, Sing
Post your set lists in the comments section.