Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Message from Erin Swanstrom

Pastor Brad is back from the Hudson Bay but our special guest speaker is Erin Swanstrom. The sanctuary was super lively as everyone seemed anxious and excited to welcome Brad back from his near 2000 mile adventure. In his opening remarks Brad said he would next week share many of the lessons he learned while on his journey to the Arctic. 'We sensed God with us all along the way."

Ash Wednesday is this week. We will share a meal together with the service at seven afterwords.

Ed filled in for Darlene this week on piano.

Before sharing with us Erin beautifully shared a song about trust. "My trust is without borders/let me walk upon the waters wherever you call me..."

After a time of prayer Brad read to us Psalm 32.

A Message from Erin Swanstrom
Our guest speaker began by noting her Duluth roots and said it is good to be back.

This Psalm has been a source of comfort for her in difficult times, especially verse 7, "You are my hiding place." This was a song that David wrote, with lessons for us all.

The psalm begins with this: "Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven." This is actually a beatitude, like the beginning of Psalm 1 or the opening portion of the Sermon on the Mount.

The psalm uses three different words for sin...
The first means disobedience.
Second, missing the target.
The third addresses waywardness and disrespect for God.
These three ways that David demonstrate the full range of forgiveness that God provides.

The fortunate life, the good life, does not belong to the one who is perfect. The happiness of the good life is for those who have been forgiven. This verse notes that David was honest about his sin. He is not one who covered it up, though he tried. "When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long." Vs 3

When we're in denial it has an impact on us. But in verse 5 we see that David acknowledged his sin and confesses his sin. In this openness with God David is forgiven. Erin pointed out that David's confession of failure was a public act as part of a community of faith.

In verse 6 David tells us to not wait till we're at the bottom before we reach out. And then he prays, "You are my hiding place..."

And God responds:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Walking with God does not require us to be perfect, but honest with God.

In the end she shared Proverbs 3:5-6 from The Message.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; 
 don’t try to figure out everything on your own. 
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, 
everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Let God make you new.

Afterward we celebrated the Lord's Supper.

No comments: