Holy Hangout

This morning I read Psalm 99,
“The Lord reigns.”

It’s not my schedule
or my son
or my sins that reign.

It’s not the calls I need to return
or Covid-19
or conservatives and democrats
or cronies at the gym.

I could fill up the page
with all the causes and concerns
that do not reign simply because
“The Lord reigns.”

Thank you, God.

Because you reign,
I don’t have to be afraid.
I can trust.
I can rest.

I can live and work in your kingdom,
knowing you are large-and-in-charge,
with cherubim at your feet
and angel armies at your fingertips.

Besides these three heart-calibrating,
life-orienting words,
I also read that because you reign—

the nations should tremble,
the earth should shake,
and your people should praise you,

for you are holy.

You are mighty.
You love justice.
You do what is right for your people.

Our response?
Praise and worship
at your feet,

for you are holy.

You keep putting your holiness
in front of my face
(you’ve said it three times already),
so I’ll take a minute.

To be holy means to be perfect,
without sin,
blameless, faultless, pure.

You can’t or won’t or don’t
connect with us,
theoretically at least,
because we aren’t any of those things.

Basic chemistry says “like works with like.”
We are not “like”
as we were meant to be.
“Sinner” sums us up nicely.

And yet…

I read on in this psalm.
You allowed your people
to call on your name.

You answered them.
You gave them your words.
You punished their misdeeds,
like any father would.

Even though you are holy,
you reached out in relationship first.
You heard the cries of your people.
You answered us.

Prayer is no doubt
one of the best tech’d parts of faith.

You not only hear our words,
you hear our thoughts and groans,
put words to our moans.
The IPhone can’t compare.
FaceTime falls flat on its face.

And the other best tech’d part of faith—
your words in The Word–
well,
I’m undone by them, too.

The God of the Universe
has words for me in a book
on my lap,
on the shelf,
on my Android?

And they work in me
and work me over,
bring me joy,
break my heart,
lift me up,
show me what you’re like?

There’s no device I know
in any land or legend that compares.
Anywhere.

But you’ve got my attention.
You are holy.
Three times you say it
in this ninety-ninth psalm.

You rub my nose in it,
to tell the truth.

So let me ask you–
how can you, Holy God,
allow me to speak to you
and hear back from you?

How is that I
get to use your Prayer Portal
and Playbook?

Doesn’t your holiness separate us?

I look back at the book in my lap.
There it is, verse eight:
you forgive.

The technology I need to connect with you
is mine simply because
I need it
and you give it–
loving, dying, bleeding, rising–
so you could forgive me
and open up the Holy of Holies,
where I come anytime I like–
a holy hangout.

God-of-Angel-Armies,
my heart is moved to praise
for your faith-tech duet—
my words in prayer,
your words on the page.

I worship at your holy mountain
for
the Lord, my God, reigns.
And fear in the here-and-now melts.
And fear of the future–poof!

God Almighty is holy and he forgives.

And he welcomes me
anytime,
anyday,
anywhere.

Easy as thought,
near as breath,
abundant as air,
all by prayer.

Glory be to the three-in-one—
Holy Spirit,
Holy Father,
Holy Son.

6 thoughts on “Holy Hangout”

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