Psalm 120

March 10, 2019 - Bible Text:

Description

The first sermon in our series; "Psalms of Ascent". 

This week's scripture: Psalm 120

A person has to be thoroughly disgusted with the way things are to find the motivation to set out on the Christian way. As long as we think the next election might save the environment or another pay raise might push us over the edge of anxiety into a life of tranquility, we are not likely to risk the arduous uncertainties of the life of faith. A person has to get fed up with the ways of the world before he, before she, acquires an appetite for the world of grace. 

The distress that begins and ends Psalm 120 is the painful awakening to the no-longer-avoidable reality that we have been lied to. The world, in fact, is not as it had represented to us. Things are not all right as they are, and they are not getting any better. We have been told the lie ever since we can remember: human beings are basically nice and good. Everyone is born equal and innocent and self-sufficient. The world is a pleasant, harmless place. We are born free. If we are in chains now, it is someone's fault, and we can correct it with just a little more intelligence or effort or time. How we can keep on believing this after so many centuries of evidence to the contrary is difficult to comprehend, but nothing we do and nothing anyone else does to us seems to disenchant us from the spell of the lie. We keep expecting things to get better somehow.

Rescue me from the lies of advertisers who claim to know what I need and what I desire, from the the lies or entertainers who promise a cheap way to joy, from the lies of psychologists who offer to shape my behavior and my morals so that I will live long, happily and successfully, from the lies of moralists who pretends to promote me to the office of captain of my fate, from the lies of pastors who "get rid of "God's command so you won't be inconvenienced in following the religious fashions!" (Mk 7:8). Rescue me from the person who tells me of life and omits Christ, who is wise in the ways of the world and ignores the movement of the Spirit. The lies are impeccably factual. They contain no errors. There are no distortions or falsified data. But they are lies all the same, because they claim to tell us who we are and omit everything about our origin in god and our destiny in God. They talk about the world without telling us that God made it. They tell us about our bodies without telling us that they are temples of the Holy Spirit. They instruct us in love without telling us about the God who loves us and gave himself for us.

Peterson, Eugene H.. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. IVP Books. Kindle Edition.

Preacher: Joe Tiedemann | Series: Psalms of Ascent

The first sermon in our series; “Psalms of Ascent”. 
This week’s scripture: Psalm 120
A person has to be thoroughly disgusted with the way things are to find the motivation to set out on the Christian way. As long as we think the next election might save the environment or another pay raise might push us over the edge of anxiety into a life of tranquility, we are not likely to risk the arduous uncertainties of the life of faith. A person has to get fed up with the ways of the world before he, before she, acquires an appetite for the world of grace. 
The distress that begins and ends Psalm 120 is the painful awakening to the no-longer-avoidable reality that we have been lied to. The world, in fact, is not as it had represented to us. Things are not all right as they are, and they are not getting any better. We have been told the lie ever since we can remember: human beings are basically nice and good. Everyone is born equal and innocent and self-sufficient. The world is a pleasant, harmless place. We are born free. If we are in chains now, it is someone’s fault, and we can correct it with just a little more intelligence or effort or time. How we can keep on believing this after so many centuries of evidence to the contrary is difficult to comprehend, but nothing we do and nothing anyone else does to us seems to disenchant us from the spell of the lie. We keep expecting things to get better somehow.
Rescue me from the lies of advertisers who claim to know what I need and what I desire, from the the lies or entertainers who promise a cheap way to joy, from the lies of psychologists who offer to shape my behavior and my morals so that I will live long, happily and successfully, from the lies of moralists who pretends to promote me to the office of captain of my fate, from the lies of pastors who “get rid of “God’s command so you won’t be inconvenienced in following the religious fashions!” (Mk 7:8). Rescue me from the person who tells me of life and omits Christ, who is wise in the ways of the world and ignores the movement of the Spirit. The lies are impeccably factual. They contain no errors. There are no distortions or falsified data. But they are lies all the same, because they claim to tell us who we are and omit everything about our origin in god and our destiny in God. They talk about the world without telling us that God made it. They tell us about our bodies without telling us that they are temples of the Holy Spirit. They instruct us in love without telling us about the God who loves us and gave himself for us.
Peterson, Eugene H.. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. IVP Books. Kindle Edition.