I feel the need to explain the name of my blog.
When I was on leave of absence from pastoral ministry back in the turn of the century, I had several employers. One of these was a hotel in Tuscaloosa. During my leave I went from not reading the Bible at all to taking a New Testament & Psalms version of scripture and sticking it in my back pocket wherever I went. While getting ready for work, I’d look up the daily lections from the Book of Common Prayer and dog-ear those pages in my Message translation I’d stuff in my pocket. Since I only carried the New Testament & Psalms, those were the passages I read on my breaks or at lunch.
Knowing I was nearing the end of my leave because the fire for God was burning again deep within, when I read the passages, I knew God was doing a work in me. One day, while at work, I read from Psalm 102. The verses that caught me and summoned up great emotion from within were verses 18-22:
Write this down for the next generation
so people not yet born will praise God:
"God looked out from his high holy place;
from heaven he surveyed the earth.
He listened to the groans of the doomed,
he opened the doors of their death cells."
Write it so the story can be told in Zion,
so God's praise will be sung in Jerusalem's streets
And wherever people gather together
along with their rulers to worship him.
When I read this passage, I was overcome right there behind the front desk at the Travelodge. The Lord spoke to me from His heart what the gospel truly is - God looked out from his high holy place; from heaven he surveyed the earth. He listened to the groans of the doomed, he opened the doors of their death cells. I was the recipient of mercy (not receiving what I deserve) and grace (receiving what I don’t deserve) in those days. My heavenly Daddy had heard MY cries and groans in my doomed condition and HE opened the door of my death cell.
I knew the gospel when I read it and heard it. This is why this blog is entitled, Psalm 102 In the Message. I want to reflect on all the ways our Daddy is hearing the cries of the doomed and opening their death cells, and then my place is to write it so the story can be told in Zion, so God's praise will be sung in Jerusalem's streets and wherever people gather together along with their rulers to worship him. Join with me in recording testimonies of how, when & where God is setting people free in Albertville, Marshall County, this state, this country, this world and in declaring praises when we worship Him. Alleluia!