Thursday, August 15, 2013

Purpose Driven Chruch

In the Book Psalms Now, the editors take the Psalms and turn them into modern language.  This is not a translation but a transliteration - taking the "meaning" of the word in the context of the time / place it was used and replacing it with a modern term that coincides.  This way we are often getting the "gist" of how things were written.  I find this book and version of the Psalms to speak the truth of the Word often.  I would not however, consider them to be the Word but instead a good interpretive meditation.  This week I was reading Psalm 80 which happens to be lectionary and found it timely.   I am sharing it here.
O God, You are the Creator and Sustainer of Your church. You have protected and prospered your faithful followers throughout the stormy and tumultuous past. Today we are in trouble.  Listen to our cries of consternation, O God. We are confused and confounded.  We don’t know where to turn or in what direction to go.  We have prayer, O God. We have sung your praises.  We have proclaimed your love to the world.  But today our power is slipping away, our prestige is wearing thin. People seem to have little respect for us anymore.  Those who have been brought up within our structures and have embraced our doctrines are leaving the fold. They say we no longer meet their needs or the needs of the world.  You were with us in the beginning, Lord. You planted us in the midst of this world’s turmoil. You nurtured us and watched over us. Despite the enemies, we grew until we encircled the earth.  Great halls of worship were built in your honor, Lord.  Magnificent institutions were established to carry out your purposes. Men and women dedicated their lives to proclaim your teachings and multitudes gather to Praise.  But not today.  Walls are crumbling, sanctuaries no longer attract masses and people dedicate their lives to other purposes. Renew your church, O God.  We know you will never turn away those who come to you and will forever  sustain those who trust you.  Fan the dying embers, Lord. Stir us up and restore us to a position of power and effectiveness.  Give us new life and new vision so we may advance your Kingdom in our disjointed world.  Renew your church, O God, and revive your servants so that whole earth may know your love.