Storm: God as Chaos (January 8)

Psalm 29

Comment

“A thunderstorm among mountains is an awe-inspiring spectacle; it speaks of might overwhelming, before which man is puny indeed. If the creature can be so devastating in power, what must the Creator be; maybe God said, ‘Let there be storms,’ in order that the crown of his creation should not think too highly of itself” (The Interpreter’s Bible: Volume 4, J. R. P. Sclater, Edwin McNeil Poteat, and Frank H. Ballard, p. 155).

Teaching Suggestions

•    You might add to the “Remember Your Baptism,” exercise, on page 12 in the Teaching Guide, a reading of the baptismal affirmation we use at Lexington Avenue Baptist:

Pastor: We have come to celebrate the baptism of ______. What do you want ______ to know?
People: That we thank God for her/his faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord; that her/his sorrows will be our own; that we will do the work of Christ together--prayerfully, compassionately and courageously.
Pastor: Let us then pronounce the baptismal blessing.
People: We celebrate the joy of our salvation. We praise God for the life, death, and resurrection of the Son. We witness your baptism, ______, in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who loves us like a father and mother, who is always redeeming us, and whose grace empowers and sustains us.

•    Recall the ice storm of 2010, which left many of our members without power for days and weeks. I remember standing on my back patio and listening to branches all over the neighborhood, crackle, break, and crash to the ground. I remember seeing the news reports showing the beautiful but destructive ice coating everything. I remember a show of hands during Sunday morning worship of those still without electricity several days after the storm.

•    To illustrate the power of storms, I have placed some videos of storm damage in Kentucky on our web site (A 2009 tornado in Casey County and a 2010 flood in Pike County). If you have the capability, you might share these with your class.

•    As noted in the previous lesson, the Psalms are intended to be used in worship. Psalm 29 lends itself to a guided period of worship, prayer, and praise of God as suggested in the Teaching Guide, “The Wonder and Mystery of Worship,” p. 13.

Resources

•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)