S (Scripture): Psalm 107:
17 Some of the redeemed were fools because of their sinful ways.
They suffered because of their wickedness.
18 They had absolutely no appetite for food;
they had arrived at death’s gates.
19 So they cried out to the Lord in their distress,
and God saved them from their desperate circumstances.
20 God gave the order and healed them;
he rescued them from their pit.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his faithful love
and his wondrous works for all people.
22 Let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices
and declare what God has donein songs of joy!
O (Observation): Funny how hunger and the smell of death can transform the faith of the folks spoken of in this text. They wandered away from God’s ways, and suffered. God didn’t punish them, they simply veered off from the path set for them. And in veering off the path, the difficulties were more prevalent, the grace less apparent.
And yet, God responds with grace when God’s people cry for help. Now…having been saved yet again, the call is for God’s people to praise God again.
Hope springs eternal!
A (Application): What about these hurricanes? What about rampant racism? What about terrorist bombings in populated areas? What about same-sex marriage? What about…<fill in the blank>?
We have a lot to worry about these days. We have a political climate that is very divisive. We have church leaders (myself included) all trying to speak the truth in love. We have everyone blaming all kinds of things for “why” the crazy stuff happens: sin, God, same-sex marriage, wealth/poverty divide, greed (or greedy people)…
The Bible speaks about brokenness in creation (which includes us humans). The Bible also speaks of healing and grace.
We can argue all day long about what got us here, but I hope we spend as much time on where we are going from here. I don’t want to erase the past. The past informs the present feelings and emotions of today. And yet I’m trying to find a way to marry the past and the present to God’s unconditional love, so that a new path forward can be arranged…in peace.
This is the hope that springs forth from God: The possibility of a new day.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us not to talk past one another, but to hear and respect one another. In that listening, soften our hearts to reply with compassion. Amen.