Sitting at a corner table, devouring the most delicious creamsticks, my dad and I were reflecting on this phrase from Psalm 24. He was preparing a sermon as part of a series he has been leading at his church on the Purposeful Plan. I was ruminating on the phrase, knowing I had this blog post to write!

What does “the earth is the Lord’s” mean in the face of Hurricane Sandy? What does “the earth is the Lord’s” mean when scrolling through political posts on Facebook? What does “the earth is the Lord’s” mean as we hear that friends and neighbors are signing land contracts for frackers to begin work?

Everything. All.

Extreme words that we are taught to avoid. Is this poetic hyperbole? A rule with a few exceptions? If we take this concept seriously, how would it change day to day life? If I took this seriously, how would I live differently? How would you live? Are we open to changing our behaviors?

Commentators write that this psalm was probably used in festival processions. How fitting to consider it in this holiday season.  The beginning of Psalm 24 is one often used to lead in worship—a reminder that God rules over all things and created all things. If we allow it, this text can remind of us God’s sovereignty, drawing us in to be in awe of our God.

The words in Hebrew emphasize creation, which includes the images of water—a symbol of unstable chaos. It is not just in the 21st century that we look around, asking questions of God’s presence and sovereignty. The people of God, living in a broken world, have always had to reconcile the “already” with the “not yet” of God’s kingdom.

During this time of year, we are simultaneously called to be thankful while also being lured into creating lists of wants and competing to fulfill a myriad of obligations. What does it mean to be in awe of God during this season? What is it like to be drawn in by the majesty of our God, remembering that the Creator of all took on flesh and dwelled among us?

Part of the Convention theme is “healed in hope.” Isn’t the act of hoping quite risky? You open yourself up for disappointment. You acknowledge that what you want and/or need is beyond your own ability to produce. Yet at the heart of kingdom living is hope.

We act and live out of the hope we have in Christ.
We worship because our God is mighty.
We work for justice because of the call of God.
We testify to the acts of God because we have experienced God’s goodness.
We rest in God because this is not the end.
May it be so.