Monthly Archives: July 2013

But why?

If you’ve ever spent time with a two-year-old, you’ve heard that question once or twice…or a thousand times. But why? It’s the refrain of nearly every conversation in my house these days. Because I live with a two-year-old, yes. But let me be honest for a minute: my two-year-old isn’t the only one who can get hung up on asking why.

This past Sunday, in Children’s Church, we studied Psalm 30.

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
    Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
    O Lord, be my helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

We talked about the psalms: what are they? how do they sound? like music, like poetry, sad, happy, confused, angry, pleading, scared, rejoicing. Do they ever ask why?

Psalm 30 begins and ends with rejoicing. It begins and ends with extolling God, with singing praise, with worship. And it is beautiful throughout, through all the emotions and questions and whys that come along the way.

So the children created beautiful things, artwork and poetry, expressing ranges of emotion, and always ending with thanksgiving.


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Out of the mouths of babes, indeed.

At All Saints Church, we begin and end with rejoicing. In every Sunday service, in every time of prayer, in every staff meeting and ministry team meeting and outreach project, God is glorified first and last no matter what–and because of what–comes in between. That’s the why. We are at All Saints, each one of us, to become and make disciples; and doing that means rejoicing and giving thanks.

That’s the beauty of hanging out with our children on Sunday mornings–and with my but why? two-year-old, too: children do not hesitate to rejoice. Be it a birthday present or a trip to Disney World or a bowl of fresh strawberries, children intuitively rejoice in a good gift, no matter the circumstances (and even if they do occasionally forget to say thank you). Have you ever heard a two-year-old ask but why? when she’s offered a bowl of fresh strawberries? Probably not. Because she knows they’re good, that’s all, and she’s going to delight in each and every one of them.

At All Saints Church, in this season of questions–but why?–and transition, let’s take a minute to dwell on what hasn’t changed. It’s right and good to ask why, but let’s not get stuck there. Because what hasn’t changed is why each of us is here, because we love God and want others to love him, too. What hasn’t changed is that our church is a good gift, to each of us and to our community. What hasn’t changed is that we have so much to be thankful for and rejoice in. Praise God for what he is doing in our lives and in our midst!

And let’s not forget to say thank you.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

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