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Pastor's Blog - Put Yourself in the Place of Another

Put Yourself in the Place of Another

Posted by Pastor Pete Panitzke on

“I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:12).
 

To “meditate” is to chew on God’s word like you chew on gum to get all the flavor out of it. Chew on your reading today by putting yourself in the place of the author or people in the narrative. What were they experiencing at this moment? Have I ever experienced something similar?
 
Our Old Testament reading consists of four psalms by Asaph, a contemporary of King David. These four psalms also demonstrate common Hebrew style of putting the main point of the psalm in the middle verse(s). The middle verses are quoted in italics below.

  • Psalm 74: Have you ever felt rejected by God? Ever felt your world was falling apart and God is silent? Asaph’s answer: Remember God’s mighty acts of the past and know that God will act. The center verse: “But you, O God, are my king from of old, you bring salvation up the earth.” 
  • Psalm 75: Why do the arrogant prosper? Asaph’s answer to the bitterness that can rise up when we see this happen? “No one from the east or the west... can exalt themselves. It is God who judges. He brings one down, he exalts another.”
  • Psalm 76: When God gives you an expected victory, give God the glory with Asaph: “At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and rider are still. You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry?
  • Psalm 77: Have you ever had sleepless nights? Asaph groans, “You kept my eyes from closing.” The center verse gives an answer that can help us on those long nights: “I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.”

Chew on the familiar account of Jesus before the chief priests and Pilate by putting yourself in his place. (Read Luke 22:62-23:12 here.) What kind of courage did it take to answer as he did? Where have I failed to show that kind of courage? Praise God that Jesus, the Son of God and our King, willing submitted to the judgment of death that should have been pronounced on us.
 
Put Yourself in the Place of Another
 
What is your reaction to the term “white privilege”?

  • A nod of understanding?
  • A shake of your head to say it doesn’t exist?
  • Anger because you are being accused of something?

Time of Grace is producing a series of conversations led by Mike Westendorf of our staff to help us “put ourselves in the place of another,” to meditate on the racial divide present in our community and our nation. You will hear from Pastor Aaron Robinson of Fairview Lutheran, Assistant Principal C.L. Whiteside from Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Michael McKee and Sydney Giovinazzo members of St. Paul’s, and Zjennai Vangas they help us understand their own perspectives. Watch Race & Understanding That Black Lives Matter: A Christian Conversation // Time of Grace
 
When we are trained as pastors, we are taught to meditate on God’s Word and then meditate on people to understand how God’s Word applies to people. I pray this video will help you apply God’s Word to the racial inequities in the world around us.
 
Diversity on the Faculty of the Global Leadership Summit
 
The Global Leadership Summit will provide another way for us to see the world from a variety of perspectives. Click here to meet the faculty. You will be challenged to use the influence God has given you to be a blessing to others. Learn more and register by clicking here.

God bless your "chewing" on God's Word and the tough issues of today.

Pastor Pete 

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