Sunday 25th October 2020 – Psalm 20
May the Lord God hear you pray,
may God’s strength be yours today;
may God bless you from above,
lifting up your heart in love.
2 May God give you all you need,
may God make your plans succeed;
may God guide you all your days,
filling all our hearts with praise:
3 Now we see the Lord can save,
now the trembling heart is brave;
now we know that Love will hear:
worship now, for God is near!
After Psalm 20, Michael Perry (1942 – 1996)
© Mrs B Perry/Jubilate Hymns
You can hear the first verse here
Many years ago – before phones had cameras, even before mobile phones were smaller than half a brick – there had been a wonderful sunset which the preacher next evening asked if we had seen? “You know” he said “My Dad made that”. Murmurings ranging from laughter to what’s he talking about ensued.
A few days later we were doing a class room talk when there was a flash of lightening and crash of thunder at the same time. A young teenager at the table where I was shrieked in terror and disappeared under the table. She was not easy to coax out but eventually she held my hand and I said “It’s okay, my Dad made that”. She was so taken back that she crawled out and we had a conversation about God our creator.
This hymn makes my heart light and want to laugh as we had on the evening of the sunset. As much as the beauty of nature uplifts our spirits it is “My Dad made that”. The blessings asked for in this hymn God gifts and grants. We can only sing “May the Lord hear you pray” because God made us with the ability to pray and so will hear prayers. The final verse affirms that we know God saves, we can know this because we feel, see, touch the love of God at the times when we are strengthened even as we hide under the table. “My Dad made that” – we worship and know that God is near.
Lord, Creator, in this strange year when our world changed and continues to change as much as it has in the 150 years since phones were invented, we question why you made that. So much suffering, grief and misery, how can we say “My Dad made that”? The Psalm says “The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!” All we can do is cling to that promise waiting, trembling and sometimes fearful, until we find you are near. Amen