Thursday, January 28, 2016

Psalm 71:1-6

This week was supposed to be a bright new start for me.  I had so many plans.  I could see the positive trajectory and knew it would foretell the great things that would come.  And then it was not.  And things did not unfold as bright and beautiful as I would have wished.  Nothing, fell into place as I had hoped.  When life overwhelms, when things fall apart, when our peace is shattered and our dreams pop and reality is very different, we can turn to God.  God is our refuge, our deliverer.  I don’t know what was going on in the Psalmist life at this point.  And I think the scriptures don’t tell us so that we don’t compare.  I could surmise that my troubles this week are not nearly as big as those of the Psalmist and that I do not need “rescued” or “delivered” in quite the same way.  But the depth of his struggles compared to mine is meaningless.  I call out to my God and I know God hears my plea.  God knows where I am and the level to which I am discouraged by how this particular week is panning out, and God will not put me to shame.  God hears my plea.  I know I can trust God to not scoff at my problems no matter how big or how small. When I sit in the middle of my discouragement, I know I have a God I can trust and I know that I will be able to continue to trust God with whatever next week holds as well.  And even when things are not going the way I want them too, even though this week has been much more of a struggle than I would have wished and I feel disappointed with its outcomes, I can still praise God, because God sees, God hears and I can trust God to be my hope in all things.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. 
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me. 
Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. 
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned form my birth; it was you who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Psalm 119:89-96

Sometimes I am struck by how the Psalms say the obvious things  we, as Christians so often take for granted.  The LORD exists forever.  Our God has neither beginning nor end.  Ever living, ever going, ever being.  If there is anything we do not truly know, as finite beings is what it means for something to have no beginning and no end.  God's eternal nature is a given to us. Why say it?  Why write it?  But the Psalmist  speaks of God's forever nature, reminds us of what we know.  But we don't know.  We know nothing of eternity.  We know nothing of forever. We know nothing that is unending, nothing with out a source.  But God exists forever.  Something we know, but at the same time can never truly know.

We know beginnings. We know endings.  Our lives are full of them.  The beginning of a new job, and our last day at that job.  We know what it is to wake up one morning to something new, this day is different than the ones before - this is a beginning.  Today I begin something new.  Women, like myself, who have had children we know the beginning of life, as it grows in our wombs and what it means to meet that life for the first time. We know last days as well, the last days of a brilliant Summer, the last day of school, the last day of a season in our lives.  And it is a rare few of us to have not at some point encountered the end of a life. The death of a pet, a friend, a loved one.

All things begin and all things end, but God does not, God is forever.  The words of God are forever firm in the fabric of the universe. That which God speaks is eternal, for all time, meaningful and a part of that is. And the Word of God, being himself God, is also forever, forever savior, forever forgiving, forever loving, forever reaching out to humanity, to me, toward you drawing us unto God, bridging the gap between the finite and the infinite, between human and divine, bringing us forever - we beings who are so full of beginnings and ends - toward the God, who neither begins nor ends. Our Savior, forever faithful in reaching toward us, calling us, drawing us, bringing us into right relationship with the forever God of the heavens.

And then we call to the God who calls to us, desiring to be drawn close, desiring to be made whole, desiring to be right, to do right, to be who the forever God is calling us to be.  And our faith redeemer hears our pray, sees  our failings, sees the limit to our perfection and creates in us perfection, mends our failings, makes us right, allows us to be what we in our own strength can not be, righteous, good, whole, and in doing so unites us with our forever God, our forever loving, forever forgiving, forever creating God.
And we sing, we rejoice, we are thankful.  We begin anew each day.

Psalm 119:89-96
The Lord exists forever; your word is firmly fixed in heaven. 
Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. 
By your appointment they stand today, for all things are your servants. 
If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my misery. 
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. 
I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. 
The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your decrees. 

I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.