Saturday, June 15, 2013

Preaching my way out the door

Here is a clip from my departure sermon for tomorrow. It was really hard to get this one written! Based on Psalm 92, it takes its title from the editorial comment in Hebrew: "A Song for the Sabbath Day." Here's the clip:


In the last stanza of the Psalm, I love the three verbs: flourish, grow, planted. The well-balanced life is compared to three trees.

  • The righteous flourish like a palm tree. Ever see the lushness of a tropical palm? They are so full of life they have to be trimmed so they can flourish even more.
  • The righteous grow like the cedars of Lebanon. These cedars were the legendary trees of antiquity. They grew tall and straight, were reported to have medicinal powers, and were cut for the great temple of Solomon.
  • Then there is the tree laden with fruit, described as still productive in its old age. Old age in the time of this Psalm, by the way, was somewhere after fifty. If you were fifty, you were old – but you could still be productive, still green, still full of sap, and still pointing to the Lord, the source of all life.
    So this Psalm pushes us to ask ourselves what it will take to flourish, to grow, to stay planted and to remain productive. These are the Sabbath tasks, the Sabbatical tasks. The poet of Psalm 92 believes that Sabbath rest  makes room for us to flourish and be fruitful.


To read the rest of the sermon, you can click here. See you in September...

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