“Inspire Joy: Find the Beat” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

August 13th,2020 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

So much continues to inspire and flourish in our community. From worship to Inspired Dialogue to SoulFood Fellowship and beyond, the work of Jesus in our midst is both seen and felt and continues to nourish and sustain our community. What a gift it is to be a part of God’s work with all of you. I hope that you will join us for worship and any (or all!) of our many ministries that call us to prayerfully and faithfully engage the Good News with each other.

This week our scripture gives us a directive- “Selah.” Selah is both a directive for the music of our faith, as well as our faith itself. It is a reminder to take pause and let God move. It is a reminder to breathe deep of the grace of God and to remind ourselves that rest is not a finish line but a space that allows us to keep going. Rest helps us find the beat to align with the rhythm of God. So, today as we read our scripture, where you read “Selah,” I want you to stop reading, close your eyes, and take 10 deep breaths. Once you are done, continue on with the scripture. See how that break- those deep breaths with God- help you understand the meaning of this Psalm more deeply.

O God, show us kindness and bless us,
and make your face smile on us!
—     Selah     —
For then the earth will acknowledge your ways,
and all the nations will know of your power to save.
Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations shout and sing for joy,
for you dispense true justice to the world—
you guide the nations of the earth!
—     Selah     —
Let the peoples shout and sing for joy;
let all the peoples praise you!
The land has given its harvest:
God, our God, has blessed us.
May God bless us, and may God be revered
even to the ends of the earth!

It is not often that our scripture is a text that contains the full chapter- from beginning to end. So, when we do it is an important reminder that God gives us all we need because God casts our vision forward. But the Psalms are also a part of our liturgy of song and movement. It literally tells us to sing for joy (Hey Inspire theme!) and tells us where to rest, just like sheet music. So, my question to you this week is, “What is the beat of this song for you?”

Tap out the beat as you read it.
Make up a tune.
Dance out the words.
Rest when it tells you to rest (Selah).
Drop the beat and pick it back up again!

Friends, the Psalmist offers beautiful words of praise for God, praise that is meant to be experienced in our full bodies. So, get up and sing, clap, dance, and play with this scripture. And if you don’t know where to start, try using the beat of your heart as your guide. God is the beat of our hearts, the beat of this psalm, and the beat of the work we do together as community.

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: O Lord may my work be a song of praise to you. Amen