“Give Thanks to the Lord” April 21 2019

Posted by on May 8, 2019 in Sermon Archives

“Give Thanks to the Lord” Psalm 118:1-2, 17-29/ 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 Luke 24:1-12   Picture, if you will, the state of So. Dakota. It would be a perfect rectangle except for the fact that its eastern border is the Red River, which zigs and zags a little bit. It is a shoe box shaped chunk of land smack dab in the middle of a huge area we call the Great Plains. Now picture the exact center of this shoe box on the utmost northern border. Here is where you will find the little city of Lemmon, right on the border of North Dakota. There’s not much to do or see in Lemmon, but it is where the writer Kathleen Norris spent her summers growing up on her grandparents’ farm. Later in life, when she inherited the farm, it became her permanent home. Now, Kathleen had a spirituality that is rare in most folks. Where most folks found themselves uninspired by the landscape of the prairie, Kathleen Norris continually saw the hand and the heart of God. She was not alone, evidently, because when she discovered a Benedictine Monastery to the north of her in Richardton, No. Dakota she blossomed as a person, as a writer, and as a healer in the name of Christ. It is her fascination with the Benedictine order that led me to speak about her today. Now, one of the things that always intrigued me about the monks at the Assumption Abbey in ND was their practice of memorizing the Psalms. At first, I thought this had to be some kind of bizarre self discipline thing because, well let’s face it, memorizing anything is not what most folks consider fun and games. But it intrigued me nonetheless. I have learned that the longer you hold scripture in your heart, the more meaningful it becomes. But the Psalms? That seemed like a bit of a stretch. I couldn’t have been more wrong. And so I am here to say that on this day that we celebrate the cornerstone of our faith – the resurrection of Jesus Christ – I am here to say that there is good reason why Jesus and the Apostles quoted from the Psalms – – a lot. They are a treasure. They speak to us  of a God who is constant, of a God whose love is without end, and of a God who is worthy of every bit of praise that we can muster. Most of all, the Psalms speak, it seems to me, of a God who makes things happen. (Ps 118:1) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. These, the opening words of the 118th Psalm, should sound familiar to us by now; we have been reading from this Psalm in one form or another for 6 weeks now. Let Israel say, “His...

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