Rev. Drew Stockstill
Be Still Little Grasshopper
Thursday, May 7, 2020 In the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. O God, make speed to save us; O Lord, make haste to help us. Morning Psalm- Psalm 16:7-11 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. 8 I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. 10 For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit. 11 You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Isaiah 40: 9-12; 21-2 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” 10 See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? 21 Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; 23 who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. 24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. 25 To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing.
It’s often the most obvious truths, the easiest to take for granted, that when remembered, they refresh us, give us strength, and renew our hope. Yesterday, was a rainy day in Harrisburg. I almost forgot it was spring. But this morning, the sun is out; not a cloud in the sky. Just noticing that, walking outside and letting the sun strike my face, standing up straight, taking a deep breath, and saying, “Thank you,” it doesn’t solve all the problems, but it grounds me in the most real thing in the world: this moment right here, in God’s Creation, my place in it, and my immeasurable gratitude for all God has made and done. The prophet Isaiah was God’s messenger to the people who were in the dark uncertainty of captivity. They were in the pit of despair, but in order to survive, to make it home, to start life again, Isaiah had to help them have hope, hope that they were going to emerge from this. In the midst of stress, uncertainty, anxieties, doom and gloom, no matter how warranted those feelings of despair, Isaiah asks us to take a walk outside and says, “Lift up your eyes,” to the hills, to the mountains, to the trees, to the sky. “Who created these?” The answer, of course is, God. God created these. “Yes, and God measured the waters in his cupped hand, and marked off the heavens, and gathered up the dust, and balanced the mountains and hills.” God was a meticulous craftsman. The most obvious truth: God is the Creator, the chief architect, and master builder, who created order and balance in Creation. And God is still God. God is still at work, as carefully, as full of care as ever. As we wonder and at times worry, and bicker and plan for what comes next, Isaiah reminds us to step outside and let the reality of Creation confront us, and then he asks us, almost confused at how worried we are: “Have you not know? Have you not heard? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is GOD who sits above the circle of the earth, and we its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.” God is STILL God, still Creator, and it’s not on us to figure this whole thing out and solve all the problems, and plan for every outcome – little frantic grasshoppers that we are, bouncing here and there, restless to get back. Rather ours is to dwell, to be, to wait for the right time to emerge, to wait for the Lord. Notice that God “who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, spread them like a tent to live in.” God creates all the heavens and the earth as a place for us and God to dwell, to be, to wait. So, dwell, be still. Dearly beloved, whatever you are feeling, know this, God is still creating and all God asks of us is to let God be God and let him have our hearts, our trust, our worries, our plans, our fears. And he will give us peace. Have you heard? Well, let me get myself up a high mountain to shout it out: “the Lord God comes with might…He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom.” And us jittery grasshoppers too, when he can catch us... ...he catches us.
Let us Pray: Satisfy us with your love in the morning, and we will live this day in joy and praise. Loving God, as the rising sun chases away the night, so you have scattered the power of death in the rising of Jesus Christ, and you bring us all blessings in him. Especially we thank you for: the community of faith in our church . . . those with whom we work or share common concerns . . . the diversity of your children . . . indications of your love at work in the world . . . those who work for reconciliation. . . People of God, for what else do we give thanks? Add your own prayers of thanksgiving. Mighty God, with the dawn of your love you reveal your victory over all that would destroy or harm, and you brighten the lives of all who need you. Especially we pray for: families suffering separation . . . people different from ourselves . . . those isolated by sickness or sorrow . . . the victims of violence or warfare . . . the church in the Pacific region. . . And for Dick Shepley and his family, the family of Ed Sherrick, Mary, Sharon and Tom Herrold, Duana, Brenda and Cliff, Bob, Rochelle, Karen and Steve, Barb and Butch, Sharron Blezard, Marcia, Rose, Phil and Alice, Stanley Hope, Jake, John, Julie, the nurses of our Medical Outreach Clinic and… People of God, for what else do we pray? Add your own prayers. O God, you are the well-spring of life. Pour into our hearts the living water of your grace, that we may be refreshed to live this day in joy, confident of your presence and empowered by your peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. “God the Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit watch over us. Amen.”