Week of: August 30, 2020
Scripture: Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b
Go ahead and give God thanks for all the glorious things he has done! Go ahead and worship him! Tell everyone about his wonders! Let's sing his praises! Sing, and put all of his miracles to music! Shine and make your joyful boast in him, you lovers of God. Let's be happy and keep rejoicing no matter what. Seek more of his strength! Seek more of him! Let's always be seeking the light of his face. Don't you ever forget his miracles and marvels. Hold to your heart every judgment he has decreed.
(Psalm 105:1-5, The Passion Translation)
Tucked away in rural Fayette County, TN, stands a wooden, open-air Tabernacle where for 127 years many families have gathered for a weeklong camp meeting in the heat of the summer. During the event, often called "Campground," family and friends move into cabins (with electricity, but no air conditioning!) and attend Morning Prayer, Bible Study, and Evening Church. I have been blessed to have married into this tradition. A few weeks ago my family packed up the car and headed to Campground for the last four days of the camp meeting.
One of the most holy moments while there was during the closing worship service on Sunday. The song that was sung was "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." As we sang about joining with nature in witness to God, a Golden Swamp Warbler swooped into the Tabernacle to feed her fledglings in the rafters. How remarkable it was that we were singing of joining with nature to praise God as this magnificent bird made her way through the church. I couldn't help but think of Matthew 6:26: "Look at the birds in the sky. They don't sow or harvest ... Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth more than they are?"
If this season of chaos has taught me anything, it is that God is with us always. In the midst of the chaos of my life, I have been reminded of God's presence and protection. Those few days of rest reminded me that God has this under control. In the midst of the chaos, go ahead and give God praise!
God of all creation, of calm and storm, remind us often of your presence with us. When we are consumed by the chaos, send us gentle reminders of your care and compassion. May we seek more of you: your presence, your strength, your light. We give you all the praise! Amen.
Publications and Media Coordinator, The Fellowship
Director of Music and Worship Arts, First United Methodist Church