Are you a map user or do you insist on finding your own way?
I spent several years of my childhood as a Cub Scout then Boy Scout. A vital tool for Scouting is the handbook. The handbook is a valuable field guide to the many life experiences boys and young men need to navigate. It’s a primer on civics and good citizenship but also taught me how to navigate nature, describing what plants are dangerous and what critters I might see on a campout. Like any good field guide, the Scout Handbook is built on years of tested experience.
The Psalms are just such a field guide. This sometimes comforting, sometimes strange, book of prayer-songs tucked into the middle of our Bible is a field guide to life with prayer and thus a field guide to life with God. Sunday morning we began a journey through the Psalms as we continue to explore what it means to be a church built on prayer. What a great time to explore the Psalms! Sunday also began a Christian worship season called Lent. Lent has been a centuries old tradition when, at its best, Christians double down on habits that “put ourselves in the channel of God’s moving power (Maxie Dunnam, The Workbook of Living Prayer).”
During these six weeks we’ll explore six types of psalms (based on Bible scholar Tremper Longman’s book, How to Read the Psalms) and how each can lead us to a deeper experience of prayer. These types includes psalms of praise (last Sunday), lament, confidence, wisdom, thanksgiving, and kingship.
Last week I described from Psalm 8 our need for praise of God. Psalm 8 celebrates God for simply being God, celebrates God for creation and salvation, but builds to a crescendo by asserting that human dignity glorifies God. God did something special with human beings, who are made in God’s image. Every person - no matter how much we disagree with or differ from them - can lead us to praise God as we find that (sometimes hidden) glory of God. That includes ourselves. We need to celebrate the goodness of our own existence. That doesn’t mean we overlook our shortcomings or sins. We own them, confess them, repent of them, and seek God’s help (which God will give!) to live into the fullness of our destined glory, which we see most clearly in Jesus himself. But this does mean we praise God as we see God’s goodness coming to life in us. If you missed the message, check it out here.
This week’s message is called Broken Hallelujah. What do we do with anger and sadness in our praying? Invite a friend and find out Sunday!
Quest Church: A Community of Grace meets for two worship services: 9am(traditional) and 10:30am (modern with concurrent Kids Quest worship)