Before we begin, just a bit of exciting news from Ebenezer:
On Easter Sunday, join us as we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection. We will gather in the fellowship hall at 10 a.m. for breakfast (Panera Danish and bagels, OJ and coffee). Worship will begin at 10:30 a.m., including special music, a bit of drama, and a good dose of music and the Word of God. Then, at 11:30 a.m., all children in attendance are invited to join in an old-fashioned Easter egg hunt on our back lawn. (In case of rain we’ll hid the eggs in the fellowship hall!) So put on your finest gear; ladies, put on your Easter bonnets; and bring the kiddos! We’ll be waiting!
Sunday school resumes at Ebenezer. We took some time out over the winter, but we’re ready to go again as we resume our study of God’s amazing grace. HOWEVER, the time is changing. To allow for more study time—and more fellowship!—Sunday school will begin at 9:30 a.m. Worship time will remain at 11 a.m. Come and join us as we search God’s Word for nuggets of gold and jewels abundant!
I remember falling in love. Actually, I remember the ride as I fell in love. There was that ticklish feeling in my stomach and in my chest when I saw him, when he talked to me, whenever I caught his eye, something like a giggle that went through me and sometimes escaped to my cheeks, turning them bright red. To quote a car commercial from a few years ago, “Oh, what a feeling!”
You might have shared the same feeling, maybe several times. For some of us the “love” we found when we were young wasn’t necessarily the “one” with whom we would spend our lives. Some call it “puppy love,” and others call it infatuation, a childhood crush, or something similar. I have to admit that I did have those feelings, and that experience, at least once or twice before I met my husband.
It really is hard to describe “falling in love” to someone who hasn’t been there. I kind of liken it to a rollercoaster ride, when your stomach is suspended in the air for those few seconds as the tracks drop below you. You aren’t sure why you even got on this ride, but you are there, nevertheless. While it is true that the giddy feeling eventually subsides, to some degree, there are still times when, in the midst of the day-to-day, I still find myself giggling like a schoolgirl when I think about him. Most often, however, that ticklish feeling has subsided to a warm glow, a confident assurance between us.
Reading through today’s psalm in my devotional, Psalm 84, I was reminded of “that funny feeling,” not because of a boyfriend, but because of someone even more dependable, more loving, and more giving than any human man or woman, boy or girl, could ever be. I was reminded of the love affair that I have been having with the One who not only provides for me and loves me, but who sacrificed for me and gave His life. Just so you know, my husband isn’t jealous of this “affair.” In fact, he has quite the same feelings for his Savior, Jesus Christ, as do I.
The psalmist had a love affair with God. Like many of us, it probably began when he was an impressionable child, listening as his father and mother taught about the LORD of Lords, the God of Abraham and Moses. Through the many lonely nights on the hillside, as he watched over his father’s sheep, David looked to the heavens and marveled at the beauty God had created. He wrote love songs—worship songs—many of which we have put to music today.
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God (vv 1,2).
How long has it been since you have felt this way about God? Maybe you may have never felt this way, at least not about the God of whom I speak, but maybe because of your spouse or your children, because of your work, your idols, or your possessions. We each have something that causes us joy and excitement. But for those who have known the beauty of God’s forgiveness, something we did not deserve and could not earn, these words take us back to moments when we experienced liberation from sin, from shame, from hopelessness.
More often than not, however, the tedious day-to-day takes away our joy, veils the beauty of life from our eyes by demanding attention to the hard, the troublesome, the unkind side of life. Marriages end for this very reason. Concentrating on problems and their own disappointments, individuals forget the reason they ever married. David sought God day and night. He longed to be in God’s presence, and no wonder. David knew where his help came from, that is, from the Lord who gave David the strength to slay the lion, who gave David the faith to fight Goliath, who forgave David when he sinned.
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness (v.10) .
I don’t know about you, but few churches have people clamoring to be doorkeepers these days. We have things to do at home, or in the field, or at the lake, or elsewhere. We don’t have time for church. God will have to fit into my schedule, we might think. God understands that I’m busy!
I testify this day, beyond a doubt, that it IS better to spend a moment serving God, even in the most menial job, than it is to spend many days without God’s presence in my life. That “funny feeling”? I still feel it, especially when I read the Bible and remember just how much God has given for me. I blush sometimes when I remember how generous was God’s grace when I called out with nothing to offer but my sin and failure. I weep tears of joy when I experience afresh the freedom that comes from knowing Christ.
In a week or so we will celebrate the most amazing holiday—the commemoration of Christ’s death on the Cross and resurrection. What a wonderful time to renew your vows to the Lord, to experience once again that longing for God’s presence! Call out to God. He is waiting for you. Already know that? Then take a few minutes to rekindle that relationship. You’ll be glad you did. See you on Easter!
Mary Kay Glunt, Pastor
Ebenezer Presbyterian, Greenfield