25 Nov

Next Sunday I begin as pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Smithsburg, MD.  I met with the District Superintendent on Tuesday and this morning I was introduced as the interim pastor.  It is a somewhat awkward situation and I am only 1/4 time right now, but I will be preaching on Sunday.  I have included picture of the church.  It is land locked in the block, but there is a nice parking lot a couple of houses down the street.  The people seems very nice and it is only 8 miles from my parents house.

Please pray for me and the people of St. Paul’s UMC during this time of transition.  Now on with the Psalm

Psalm 43 sounds like it is part of Psalm 42 because the refrain is the same.  In the first couple of verse the psalmist sound like they are in the middle of a tough situation with the feeling of enemies around them.

I really like the second stanzas.

” Give me your lantern and compass,
give me a map,
So I can find my way to the sacred mountain,
to the place of your presence,
To enter the place of worship,
meet my exuberant God,
Sing my thanks with a harp,
magnificent God, my God.”

I love the image of having God’s lantern and compass and map.  It is good to have the complete package to find our way to the sacred mountain.  It is great to be in a place of worship; and maybe even better to know that anyplace can be a place of worship.

The psalm ends with the matching refrain from Psalm 42.  The psalmist acknowledges their sadness and difficulties and looks to God for hope and grace.

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God.

I hope God has put a smile on your face today.


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