Our Psalm for today is a challenging one. It is a reality check for us, following the great comfort and hope and good news of Christ’s birth. It is a reminder that God has come into our world, but not any God, not a God of our own choosing or making. But the God of justice, the God of the poor and oppressed, the God who chooses the forgotten. And it is a reminder that God calls and challenges us to do the same, in every part of our lives, in every part of our world.
Lift up those who are forgotten and ignored. Be present with those who are hurting. Speak for compassion and justice for all humanity. And show God’s love to all, especially those who don’t believe God can love them.
You all are a part of God’s work every time you show hospitality, you create something beautiful and new, every time you guide the gifts that are brought in or take care of this house of worship and love.
God made you because the world is better simply by you existing, simply by you being unlike anyone else.
We are all called – not necessarily to pulpit ministry, but we are all called by God to go out into the world and be God’s hands and feet. We are called to bring change, to help others in crisis, to be a shelter in times of hurricanes, to be a present in the time of storms, to stand strong knowing that no matter where we are called to go or what we are called to do, God will be present still. Our call might not bring immediate fulfillment. Our call might be difficult and undesirable. But if we trust in the promise of God we know that our call is worth all of that.
Our message for today is to see Christ’s kingdom in our everyday items and moments and lives. And knowing that they too are a part of God’s kingdom. This is the way of Jesus Christ. It’s not always glamorous or glitzy. But it’s full of love, it’s full of grace, it’s full of the holy breaking through.
But God is always good. God uses yirah not to turn us away, but to draw us near and change us from the inside out. The Fear of the Lord does not mean to hide from God as if God is some evil tyrant ready to attack and destroy. It means instead to get ready, because you are about to see something extraordinary and your life will never be the same.
This passage first reminds us that God is not limited to any sole place. We can’t keep the Creator of heaven and earth locked up inside these walls, because heaven and all of creation is God’s dwelling place. We can’t limit God to an hour a week on Sunday because wherever we go, just like the tabernacle in the wilderness, God will travel with us.
The church is meant to be a place of great welcome, where we can be our ridiculous selves and grow in God’s love. But too often we have been a place that has kept people out – people of different skin colors, people of different class and backgrounds, people with different sexual orientations, people with different gender identities. And in doing so, we have born false witness. We have turned the true God of dance and joy and song into a God of prejudice, fear, and hurt.