Long before Netflix or Hulu existed, Eugene Peterson wrote his book “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction,” and he was very wise in his assessment of our entertainment-infatuated culture. He wrote, “The enormous entertainment industry in America is a sign of the depletion of joy in our culture. Society is a bored, gluttonous king employing a court jester to divert it after an overindulgent meal.” Friends, I don’t want us to be desensitized to delight. I don’t want us to miss out on the joy that Christ offers, a joy that cannot be commanded, purchased, or arranged. Psalm 126 promises that “those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” Come, let us put aside all that diverts, depletes, and distracts. Let us faithfully sow seeds, trusting our God to provide a harvest that we will reap with joy!
Music: "This is My Father's World" arr. Lloyd Larson, Don & Bonnie Diller on piano and chimes
We are beginning a new sermon series entitled “Ascend: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.” We will be looking at Psalms 120-134, which are known as the Songs of Ascents. Three times a year, the Hebrew people were commanded to go to Jerusalem to the great worship festivals, and these psalms were likely sung by pilgrims as they traveled. Topographically Jerusalem is the highest city in Palestine, and so all who traveled there spent much of their time ascending. Climbing uphill requires much more grit than going downhill, so these songs are fortifying, encouraging, always pointing us to our prize: God.