River City Church - Smyrna, GA

Church Everywhere — Psalm 23

March 22, 2020

As we face the challenges of not being able to meet in person on Sunday morning, we continue in the spirit of "Church Everywhere" with Josh's message centering around Psalm 23 this week. Psalm 23 offers a number of helpful reminders for us as we try to establish a new normal in this season. We see a Shepherd who is leading us in the midst of trouble. He leads us in it and through it when we might prefer to simply avoid it or run in the other direction. We see a Host who invites us in and sets a table for our enemies. In moments like these, we can experience the overflowing love of God whose goodness and mercy chases and pursues us in this moment and all the days of our lives. Psalm 23; Psalm 139:11-12.

If you have a prayer request, please email prayer@rivercitysmyrna.com. If you have a need, please let us know by emailing needs@rivercitysmyrna.com

Josh shared a prayer from Robby Waddell that he prays before teaching his Greek class: 

"Creator of language and first speaker, though you are infinite, we are finite. You have granted us the capacity to interpret and to misinterpret. You have given us the ability to create and to destroy with words. Help us to use this gift of language faithfully to know and love you and each other. With humility, we seek to understand your loving and holy words recorded in our scriptures. As we study Greek, may you fill us with gratitude, love, curiosity, and awe." 

Josh also shared a poem from Brother Richard Hendrick inspired by the current moment: 

LOCKDOWN - Brother Richard Hendrick

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
March 13th 2020