Do you recall the inauguration of our Lake Deaton new building about a year and a half ago? I remember the white chairs set up. It was a beautiful day; it was cold, and it was windy. We had special speakers, visitors, and a history of how Lake Deaton UMC came about. How special it felt to enter into the building and take a tour of the new facilities. Scholars believe that Psalm 28 is a psalm of “Temple Entry,” in other words a liturgy recited as worshippers entered the temple. Notice below the responsive reading format which begins with one reader and moves to a congregational response. Then watch the video to hear more about a Psalm of Temple Entry.
Liturgist: (vs. 1-4) “I pray to you, O Lord, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary. Do not drag me away with the wicked –with those who do evil– who speak friendly words to their neighbors while planning evil in their hearts. Give them the punishment they so richly deserve! Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness. Pay them back for all their evil deeds! Give them a taste of what they have done to others.
All: (vs. 5) They care nothing for what the Lord has done or for what his hands have made. So he will tear them down, and they will never be rebuilt.
Liturgist: (vs. 6-7) Praise the Lord! For he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
All: (vs. 8-9) The Lord gives his people strength. He is a safe fortress for his anointed king. Save your people! Bless Israel, your special possession. Lead them like a shepherd and carry them in your arms forever.”
Read: Psalms 28, 29, and 30
Questions to Consider:
1. In your experience as a follower of Christ, is there a specific celebration or ritual that is meaningful to you? (i.e. lighting a candle before worship?)
2. For those of us who have been away from our worship building, do you have some words you would say to the Lord when you come back to worship?
Activity for the Day: Get with a friend and read Psalm 28 as a responsive reading and see if there is a slight change in how you hear this Psalm.