The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him. He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people; “Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!” The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Psalm 50:1-6 (NRSVUE)
“Time for supper!” Dad would yell out the screen door in the evening. All the kids in the neighborhood knew their specific “call” to come home. Actually, in the smaller town that we lived in, a 6 o’clock whistle would also blow and everyone knew it was time to be home. I’m sure you can remember a time when folks would hear a church bell ringing, calling everyone to worship. (I understand that now some churches have their bells hidden in cell towers around town!) In Texas, we had a church sexton who was in charge of ringing the bells of the church for all occasions: worship, funerals, weddings, etc. He was an older fellow and, boy was he strong to pull those ropes! On funeral days, you knew how old the person was who passed, by the number of solemn rings of the bell. Here in Nebraska, a church in the country that my husband served had wonderful bells that would peal across the fields and farms for miles. The church council men and women were tasked with the ringing. They always loved that part of their job and had fun doing it!
Gathering and calling, that’s what Psalm 50 is doing. One of David’s chief musicians wrote these compelling words in song, as a summons to the faithful. God is calling and confronting his people, asking them to hear that He is God, their God. God shines forth asking heaven and earth to witness this gathering with his people. This is a grand moment, a renewal with his faithful ones. The heavens declare his righteousness! A transforming moment for sure.
How are you “called” to worship these days? What pulls you to get up and get dressed and head out to church? What is it that grasps your hand and clicks on “Southwood Lutheran Church’s” on-line worship on your phone or computer? What bell calls you to acknowledge God as the mighty one, the Lord, the all in all?
God calls us together in community to judge us, renew us, strengthen us, and love us. All the things we need to thrive.
“Hear ye, Hear ye” the crier bellows, the bells ring, the whistle blows, the parent calls out. Come to your God and worship Him, you faithful ones.
Questions for Reflection:
- When have you heard the “call” to come and be in the presence of God?
- How wonderful does it feel to hear God’s word calling to you?
Mighty Lord God,
We hear you speaking to us and calling us to you. Thank you for showing us your greatness and power and at the same time, your love and care in our lives. Amen