Yesterday evening, we had an opening message from our festival coordinator that struck my mother–quite understandably–as very Nathanish, and I mean that definitely as a good thing. The sermon focused on a set of psalms, Psalms 93-100, that are labeled as the royal psalms. The discussion includes a couple of Psalms I have already focused on at considerable length in my ongoing psalms commentary project, but also present a context that includes a celebration of the reign of the Eternal and our response to that reign. This response is something that is important because there is a telling contrast between the response of the godly to the reign of God that we see in these psalms and the response of the ungodly we can see in Revelation. This focus on the reign of God and what it means for human beings is definitely something that would be a noteworthy and intriguing theme for a Feast of Tabernacles.
And to some extent that is something that we saw today when we listened to the sermon. This sermon was a seven point message where the computer crew struggled pretty obviously to get the power point slides to sync up with what the minister was saying. The message, though, was a good one in looking at why it is that we keep the feast collectively and what is in it for us, so to speak. Here too, the focus of the first part of the message was on four reasons why it is that we keep the Feast of Tabernacles as believers, starting with the most obvious reason that we are commanded to do so by God, as well as having been invited to do so. The second part of the message then focused on what is in it for us which focused on our own role in the world to come as kings, priests, and teachers. This too seemed to fit with the theme established in the first message, and allows us to better understand that this is going to be a focus for the Feast of Tabernacles, and one I can certainly cheer on.
It is very important in times like these to recognize that the Lord Eternal reigns. To be sure, we cannot blame God for the mess that the world is in the way that gnostics do, but ultimately God either wills or allows all that happens. It is the fact that so many terrible things both now and in history belong in that second category that forces us to ponder what it means for God to reign here and now. It is hard to be just to God based on our own limited understanding and our inability to recognize how what is evil can work together for the good. It is my firm belief that when it is written that all things work together for the good for those whom are called and chosen by God, that this means all things, all the horrible things that could possibly happen to people and do. How all these things work together for good, and when, and to what extent in various areas of life are happily above my paygrade.