8–14 April 2018.
One of the big mistakes we can make in our faith is to think of God as being very small. We do this in many ways. For example, maybe we think of God only as the God of Presbyterians. But of course God is not just our God. Maybe we are prepared to think of God in a little larger way as the God of all Christians – of Catholics and Orthodox and Protestants alike. Maybe we would even be brave enough to think of God as the Lord of Christians, Jews, and Muslims too. But even if we thought in these ways, our idea of God would still be far too small – after all God would still only be the God of about 4–5 percent of the population.
In Psalm 65, the writer begins by thinking of God in this very small way. He pictures God only as the God of the temple in Jerusalem, only as the tiny God of the few believers gathered there. But very quickly the writer realizes that God is far more than just that. God is the God of all people, and the Lover and Hope of all people everywhere all across the earth. In verse 5 the writer praises God as “the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.” And in v. 8, we read that those who live at the ends of the earth also stand in awe of God’s wonders. But even this idea is still too small for our God – because God is not just the God of all human beings, he is also the God of all nature. He is the God of rivers and rain, of meadows and pastures and wilderness, the God of mountains and valleys. God is the God of the whole world, and he pours out his blessings on the entire earth. But even this idea is still too small for our God. In verse 8 the writer pulls our attention up, out of the earth and into the universe itself, stressing how God even makes the heavenly gateways of the morning and evening shout for joy! Our God is so great his power and love stretch through the entire universe, and all things that exist, seen and unseen, exist in his hands and celebrate him.
In verse 2, the writer declares that “to you, O God, all flesh shall come”. That’s the promise Jesus answers in John 12:32. There Jesus says, “when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” That’s the immense, cosmic, universal Christ that we have. The light and power of his love bursts through the whole earth and the whole universe, and he draws all people and all things into his arms.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis