I know the deep contentment which comes with awareness of God’s presence. I also know what it is like to feel separated and unsettled, stepping forward blindly without fully trusting that God is taking care of me. Unfortunately, my trust in God’s guidance seems to ebb and flow – never ending ups and downs. Based on conversations recently, I don’t think I’m alone in this.
We are human and we live in a busy, messy world. Sometimes the other voices around us – voices of chaos, stress, distrust, and selfishness – become so loud they drown out the one Voice we know we must listen to.
Those other voices have been loud the last four months of life; nothing life shattering, but enough to feel that occasional sense of being unsettled. We stood in church this past Wednesday night for our mid-week service. The sun was out, birds chirping, cool and crisp spring air. A small adult group had just completed a good conversation on the Psalms – a class I had actually had time to prepare for.
The service started with a song… “To be Alive.” This is a song from youth gatherings years ago, and is now sung by my son at church camp. When the song started, my son started bouncing around – an ear-to-ear grin on his face! (He is SO excited for camp to start – and still has over 2 months to wait!) I felt joy watching this 8-year-old bouncing around me. I stood with my two kids and my husband with the cross above us and felt peace! In that moment, those voices were silenced!
“To be alive – is to live the love that is alive…”
“There is nothing I can do to save me, only God carries us home. So we live, mercy, hope and freedom loving another to be whole.”
I knew these words, I liked this song. But I heard the words differently on this day. Those “other” voices have been loud, drowning out the Voice which gives life. But I stood there and remembered what “alive” really means. Alive is knowing the good news of God love. Alive is responding by showing this love to others!
In the Psalms class immediately before this service, we read this quote from Martin Luther:
“Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace.”
Luther figured it out 500 years ago. Knowledge of God’s grace brings joy, and we respond by joyfully doing good to everyone. This is what it means to truly be alive!