Monday, April 30, 2018

A Reflection on Installation Sunday: Psalm 21.1-7, 13

The Psalms have been the voice of God to me in prayer lately. Yesterday, I was installed as Pastor of Bethany Covenant Church in Lyndhurst, Ohio. This day was a long time coming, in more than one way, and in some ways it is still hard for me to fathom. It was a beautiful service, a beautiful day, blessed with dozens of little graces. And yet, it wasn't until this morning, as I sat at my desk in my study (I have a study!) and opened my Bible to read the Psalm for today, that I was truly struck by what the Lord has done for me.

Psalm 21 is from the perspective of the king, in this case King David. I am not a king, but I am a child of the King, and a member of a royal priesthood. As soon as I began to read, I somehow immediately substituted pastor for king and she for he. Here is how verses 1-7, 13 read, adapted this way.

The pastor rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is her joy in the victories you give! You have granted her her heart's desire and have not withheld the request of her lips. You came to greet her with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on her head. She asked you for life, and you gave it to her—length of days for ever and ever. Through the victories you gave, her glory is great; you have bestowed on her splendor and majesty. Surely you have granted her unending blessings and made her glad with the joy of your presence. For the pastor trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High she will not be shaken. . . . Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing and praise your might!

As I wrote the Psalm this way in my journal, I finally felt at my core—in my splanchna—the weight and the joy of yesterday's events. My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant (Luke 1.46b-48a).

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