Sunday, July 13, 2014

Church Picnic Reflections

My church had its annual picnic this morning!  There was some rain, but we were under a roof, and we still did the water-balloon toss.  And, as happened last year, my water balloon broke, even though I caught it!  Last year, it just unravelled, squirting in mid-air.  This year, it burst in my hands when I caught it.

The sermon was good.  The pastor was envisioning David, watching sheep alone and having time to think, contemplating the design of himself and the world around him.  I can identify with that, even though I believe in evolution.  The world is wonderful, however it came to be as it is.  Yet, there are evolutionists who point to things in nature that do not work that well.  Evolution can lead to a design that is good, yet flawed.

We were reading Psalm 139.  The Vacation Bible School this coming week will be focusing on Psalm 139.  Psalm 139 has beautiful verses about God’s omnipresence and creation of each and every one of us.  The Psalmist calls himself fearfully and wonderfully made!  Yet, vv 19-22 have things about God destroying the wicked and the Psalmist’s hatred of God’s enemies.  I doubt these verses will be mentioned in Vacation Bible School!  I remember being in a Bible study group, and we read Psalm 139.  Someone in the group noted that the Psalmist says that he hates God’s enemies with perfect hatred.  His hatred was perfect.  Was it?  Well, Jesus talks about the importance of loving our enemies.  Still, I can identify with the Psalmist’s sentiment that murderers were disturbing his own peace and the peace of the people, and his desire for God to stop that.

I one time attended a liberal Seventh-Day Adventist church.  We would do a liturgy, and the liturgy would quote a Bible passage while omitting the violent parts.  For some reason, one reader would intentionally read aloud those omitted verses as part of the liturgy!  Why, I do not know.  He himself was rather liberal.  Maybe he wanted us just to be real about what the Bible said, rather than putting the Bible into some soothing package.

Still, maybe it is not that bad that kids next week at the Vacation Bible School will be focusing on the soothing, positive aspects of Psalm 139.  These parts reinforce attitudes that can encourage them not to be like the wicked whom Psalm 139 criticizes!

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