*Shared with my school staff on October 25, 2017.
Look at Psalm 146.
As you read, pay special attention to the verbs in verses 5-9.
Psalm 146: Put Not Your Trust in Princes (italics mine)
Call to Praise
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
The Frailty of Human Heroes
3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
God @ Work
5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who KEEPS faith forever;
7 who EXECUTES justice for the oppressed, who GIVES food to the hungry. The Lord SETS the prisoners free;
8 the Lord OPENS the eyes of the blind. The Lord LIFTS up those who are bowed down; the Lord LOVES the righteous.
9 The Lord WATCHES over the sojourners; he UPHOLDS the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he BRINGS to ruin.
The Eternal Reign of God
10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!
Looking at verses 5-9, which present tense action verbs can you see? Try to find them (not a hard feat if you’re reading this post instead of listening to me read it). Reading from the ESV, I count ten.
- Keeps faith forever
- Executes justice
- Gives food to the hungry
- Sets prisoners free
- Opens the eyes of the blind
- Lifts up those who are bowed down
- Loves the righteous
- Watches over the sojourners
- Upholds the widow and the fatherless
- Brings the way of the wicked to ruin
Tense is significant here. Written in the past or future, these actions of God would be both remarkable and encouraging. But they are better than that. They are written in the present. They speak to a God who is active. Who is working. Who continues to write stories of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration, and he does so through his people.
As a community, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about our future schools: learning new curriculum, writing new unit plans, casting fresh visions and redefining mission. Although most of our staff representation will remain intact in the year to come, we will experience a change in place and space. This division poses an excellent time to revisit all the underpinnings of our community.
The list of God-actions in this chapter is not exhaustive, but it’s powerful. As you look at the list one more time, think about the authentic units and activities that our community could take part in to live out these actions. Let us challenge our students to embody the character of God by doing his work in the power of his Holy Spirit.
How could each of these actions be carried out in the context of our school community?
Keeps faith forever
Gives food to the hungry
Sets prisoners free
Opens the eyes of the blind
Lifts up those who are bowed down
Loves the righteous
Watches over the sojourners
Upholds the widow and the fatherless
Brings the way of the wicked to ruin