As part of this service, I led the celebration of Holy Communion for the first time, as part of my ministerial training. I’ll probably write more about that experience sometime, but for now I’ll say that it was a rewarding experience, and I don’t think I botched anything too badly.
Here is an excerpt of the sermon:
It’s not an argument or a new piece of information that reorients Asaph; it’s this encounter with God in the sanctuary. It doesn’t say what happened there. It doesn’t say that God revealed some new truth to Asaph that was missing from his philosophical system. It doesn’t say that Asaph did anything in particular, or even what might have been different about this time in the sanctuary (remember: Asaph is a temple musician, so entering the sanctuary is part of his job!). It was actually God’s own presence there in the sanctuary that changed Asaph. In these verses and those that follow, there is no new information about God’s plan to judge the wicked and save his people; Asaph essentially says the same thing that he “knew” in his head before this moment. But now, something about God’s presence makes him “perceive,” truly understand it in the depths of his soul. Asaph knows that God sees him in all his righteousness and imperfection, strength and frailty, belief and discouragement. God’s nearness is enough for him.
Audio and text: ©2017 by Benjamin D. Giffone. Reproduction and distribution are permitted, providing that the author is properly credited and that no fee is charged.