Thursday, March 17, 2011

The right thing

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I love the word, "Hallelujah!"  It just sounds joyful- kind of rolls off the tongue.   It means "Praise Jehovah!" or "Praise God!"  I confess I say this sometimes when a wonderful thing happens.  I try to avoid using too much "Christianese" and be real to people.  This Psalm is very long, so I pulled out the first 7 verses that spoke to me.  The rest of the Psalm describes the sins of Israel after they left Egypt. 

Psalms 106:1-7

1 Hallelujah!
Thank God! And why?
Because he's good, because his love lasts.
2 But who on earth can do it —
declaim God's mighty acts, broadcast all his praises?

I have to admit I am much happier when I do the right thing instead of the wrong:  no guilt, no wondering how to make things right, no apologies.  There's also a strange sense of rightness in helping others.  The look in their eyes is priceless.  It's like they are saying, "Thank you," from deep within.  

There was a woman in the building I worked.  She was shorter than me.  Her front teeth were missing, her hair and cleaning uniform always messy.  I saw her pushing a trashcan everyday, she frightened me a bit at first.  I wondered what she was doing in our high tech building.  The Lord kept nudging me to speak to her- I'm a little slow sometimes; but gave in.  What a sweetheart.  She was a grandma trying to earn a little money for her grandkids.  After I introduced myself, she greeted me with a wave and a big toothless grin each day,  "Hi Karen!"  It really felt good, so glad for the Lord's nudge.  Seems He intended to bless us both.

One day she was wearing an iPod as she pushed the trashcan.  I could see the earplugs in her ears, her head hung down.  She seemed lonely, so I walked up beside her and started snapping my fingers and bouncing up and down like I was listening too.  She jumped when she saw me, laughed and asked if I could hear her music.  I didn't realize some VP's were standing in the hall behind me...  They started laughing too.  I turned red, laughing as well.  Amazing how something so simple and even silly can touch so many.  My friend was no longer invisible.  Loving your neighbor as yourself, is the right thing to do... even if it doesn't go exactly as planned.
3 You're one happy man when you do what's right,
one happy woman when you form the habit of justice.

This part of the Psalm is so humble.  "Remember me."  The writer isn't demanding his rights or proclaiming his goodness.  He simply says, "Remember me."
4 Remember me, God, when you enjoy your people;
include me when you save them;
5 I want to see your chosen succeed,
celebrate with your celebrating nation,
join the Hallelujahs of your pride and joy!

Someone else said that too.  Remember the two thieves that hung on crosses beside Jesus?

Luke 23:40-43
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."
43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

None of us are worthy.  Our salvation is by God's grace alone, it was His decision to forgive us- when we accept Jesus' sacrifice.
6 We've sinned a lot, both we and our parents;
We've fallen short, hurt a lot of people.
7 After our parents left Egypt,
they took your wonders for granted,
forgot your great and wonderful love.

These verses help me a lot.  Hope they encourage you as well.
Rom 3:23
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...

1 John 1:9-10
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

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