In particular, I wanted to highlight the strength of the Lord which the psalmist compares to a thunderstorm shaking the world.
So I adapted Carolyn's reading and added some SOUND EFFECTS for us to use as part of the sermon.
|(Download a copy here)|
As Group 1 read their part, Group 2 was responsible for making a thundering noise by stomping their feet on the floor. (You could also clap your hands on your legs or drum on the back of the pew in front of you.) Then, as Group 2 read their part, Group 1 made the thundering noise.
We started off with a soft thunder, like the storm was still off in the distance. Then each time they thundered, they got a little bit louder. (And the speakers had to speak a little louder too!)
As things crescendo-ed toward the end, we suddenly STOPPED at the ALL part, and then we read the last four lines softly and gently, like the calm after the storm.
This is a doxological psalm, which means it "speaks praise" or "speaks glory" of God. So I started the sermon off by singing the "Doxology" and encouraging the congregation to join with me. (Nothing gets the congregation's attention like starting a sermon off with singing!)
The sermon revolved around the idea that the voice of the Lord is stronger than all the other voices that are vying for our attention--namely, the voices from within us and around us that say "you're not good enough or successful enough or beautiful enough."
But this psalm “speaks praise” of the one true God, who is stronger than all the other gods, who is strong and powerful like a thunderstorm.
This God, the true God, speaks a word and calms the stormy sea.
This God, the true God, speaks a word and casts out demons.
This God, the true God, speaks a word and descends on his people like tongues of fire.
God’s strength lies not in arms or legs but in his voice and in his words, which are words of life.