Week of: February 24, 2019
Scripture: Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37:4, NRSV)
Each time I read this week's lectionary psalm, I cannot help but think of the beautiful mezzo aria "O Rest in the Lord" from Mendelssohn's oratorio Elijah. The aria quotes Psalm 37 in the following way: "O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for him, and he shall give thee thy heart's desires. Commit thy way unto him, and trust in him, and fret not thyself because of evil doers."
If you are like me, waiting is very hard to do. I have always been impatient, hardly being able to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. As a church musician, I am always thinking ahead and planning for what will happen next. It seems that all worship artists live in a perpetual state of "what's to come." During the summer months we are planning for Christmas, and during the Advent season we are planning for Easter. The church year never stops, and as a result, neither do we.
Unfortunately, when we don't stop, we are missing out on opportunities to listen to and be in relationship with God. I once served with a minister who told his staff he didn't care what we accomplished in the course of a day, but that he expected us to find the time to be silent with God.
Are you finding time to share the desires of your heart with God? How might the worship of your church change if you found more time to rest in the Lord?
Patient Lord, help us find the time to patiently wait for you. Grant us refuge and show us how to trust in you. Hear the desires of our hearts and inspire our mouths to utter wisdom. May we take delight in you and do good. Amen.
Justin L. Addington
Director of Music & Worship
St. John's United Methodist Church
Rock Hill, SC
Photo: Cecilia Ford dances during morning worship at Music & Worship Arts Week 2018. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)