Entries by Marcus Hong

Canticles: Psalm 91—Refuge

The psalm never promises no sorrow, but rather that we will survive the sorrow that does come. The evil and the scourge are all around us, but they need not overcome us or dwell with us. Instead, we can dwell with God.

Canticles: Psalm 79—Guilt

So when we respond to our young people who are suffering, or who feel overwhelming guilt, or who wonder why bad things happen, may we first listen—without rushing to judgment, without trying to fix things, without spreading blame. And then, let us find in that guilt the longing for God.

Canticles: Psalm 24—Who

… the person who is worthy to come is worthy not because they have been to church, been baptized, taken communion, or ritually cleansed themselves in some way… None of this negates the moral and ethical norms to which God calls us… But it begins the conversation on a different foot.

Canticles: Psalm 139—Ubiquitous

We use the word ubiquitous when the slow dawning realization finally creeps up on us that there is something in the world that we cannot escape… There’s just enough of God’s presence—everywhere—that I cannot escape. No wonder we speak of God’s haunting presence as the Holy Ghost.

Canticles: Psalm 81—Unknown

How can I hear God’s voice of freedom and love in the midst of my suffering? Am I attentive to God’s presence amongst those people I’d rather not encounter? When I’m in a situation that seems utterly foreign to me, am I more likely to put up my defenses or make the effort to retain an openness to what God has in store?

Canticles: Psalm 71—Long Life

I could say that God has brought me to the brink of death dozens of times. Or I could say that God has snatched me from the brink of death dozens of times. And when I look to the future, I could live worried about all of the things that might come to pass; or I could live confident of the ways that God will see me through even those things that do come to pass.

Canticles: Psalm 80—Turn

I cry out to God to change things, to fix things… this is a dangerous prayer to pray. This prayer will not let me stay prostrate on my bed; this prayer will not let me cower in fear. This prayer moves me from passive pleading to active trust. It reminds me that, even in the depths of my helplessness, it may be through me that God brings salvation.

Canticles: Psalm 50—Living Sacrifice

Our preaching, our music, our ministries, our acts of service—we do them with excellence and care not because they need to be the best, or because we think God will be more pleased with us the better they are. We do them with care because of our steadfast love for God and the steadfast love for others that flows from God’s love for all of us.

Canticles: Psalm 85—Waybread

The moments when righteousness and peace actually kiss each other are like lembas bread for me. They sustain me when life isn’t so great. They keep me on the path, even when I don’t want to keep going.