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Psalm 146

Celebrities and Commoners

Last week Taylor Swift released a new song from her upcoming release of her newest album. Her cryptic gifs of a snake enthralled the media. We who follow pop culture hung on every report waiting to hear what the news would be. When the song was released, radio stations played it hourly just to make sure everyone had an opportunity to hear it.

I am regularly drawn into following the latest news on celebrities. This weekend I will be taking my daughter to the Supernatural Convention, where we will anxiously await a glimpse of our favorite stars, Jared and Jensen (team Sam, y'all). (Or Jensen and Jared, if you ask her -- she's team Dean.)

I know we're not alone in our pseudo-worship of celebrities and their lifestyles. But I think the whole enterprise is an attempt to fill a void within ourselves that can not actually be filled by people. We long to get close to celebrities because we want to rub elbows with people who are loved and adored by so many. We long to be loved and adored, too, but our longing is bittersweet because we know we will never achieve the fame and adoration that we believe our favorite celebrities have achieved.

While following celebrities can be a benign distraction from our lonely or empty lives, there is truly only one that can fill that void. Only God can be a constant companion. Only God can love us more than we can even handle. Only God can adore us as much as we adore God. God, creator of all things, loves each of us as if we were the most famous celebrity on earth. Better yet, God loves us as if we were the most important person God created -- because we are.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul! 
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God all my life long. 

Do not put your trust in princes,
   in mortals, in whom there is no help. 
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
   on that very day their plans perish. 

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the Lord their God, 
who made heaven and earth,
   the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever; 
   who executes justice for the oppressed;
   who gives food to the hungry. 

The Lord sets the prisoners free; 
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
   the Lord loves the righteous. 
The Lord watches over the strangers;
   he upholds the orphan and the widow,
   but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 

The Lord will reign for ever,
   your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Earlier Event: September 1
Revelation 15, Angels with Seven Plagues
Later Event: September 2
Revelation 16, Bowls of God’s Wrath