Dear Hyde Park Family,
“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
This verse was part of last Monday’s Bible Project 2020 readings, and is a favorite for many people. I have used it to quiet my spirit when I feel unsettled and to slow down my pace when I am frenzied. There is something about the phrase “be still” that suggests calm serenity, and it has been a useful verse for me throughout this pandemic.
But I recently came across a different way of understanding this psalm, which unlocks a deeper level of meaning and an even more powerful application.
The New Revised Standard Version and New International Versions translate the verse in the familiar way, based largely on the old King James Version. But the Jewish Study Bible, known as the Tanakh Translation, is based on the original Hebrew and translates the scripture with much stronger language: “Desist! Realize that I am God!” Tom Long, in his book The Witness of Preaching, say the tone here is “like a command to stop doing something destructive and prideful.”
And then if you look at the Common English Bible, a translation commissioned by the publishing house of the United Methodist Church, this verse is translated from the Hebrew with even more force:
“That’s enough! Now know that I am God!”
Yes, there may be times during this pandemic when you need the soothing, comforting translation of Psalm 46:10. But sometimes, you need the strong and forceful version, with the kind of tone that Jesus must have used when he silenced the roar of the storm, or ordered the demons to leave, or rebuked the moneychangers.
What is in your life right now to which God can help you say, “That’s enough! Now know who is God!”?
- To the feelings of loss and despair that come in waves across your bow, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
- To the anger that you feel at the false choice we have created, between our nation’s economy and the health of its people, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
- To the injustice of a society in which the disease impacts a disproportionate number of low-income persons, as well as persons of color, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
- To the systemic racism that continues to rear its ugly head, most recently in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
- To the strain in your relationships that have worsened under the anxiety of social distancing and sheltering at home, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
- And to the sense that you are all alone to face these feelings all by yourself, God says to you, directly and emphatically, “That’s enough!”
“Now know that I am God!”
GRIEF SHARE TONIGHT
If you would like a safe space to process these feelings, under the tender companionship of our congregational care ministry, then I invite you to a new weekly online gathering starting tonight at 6:30 p.m. The Grief Share Support Group is facilitated by Hyde Park members Gary and Viveca Uremovich. Please complete this registration form to receive Zoom Meeting credentials. For more information, please contact Gary, Viveca or Pastor Sally.
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist
PORTICO CAFÉ REOPENS FOR TAKEOUT AND OUTDOOR DINING
Beginning Monday, May 18, The Portico Café will be open for takeout and outdoor dining. Visit the website for more information, including its updated menu of food and beverage items. Support the Portico’s efforts to foster conversation, connection, and community change.