Wednesday September 16 2020
Reflection: Based around Psalm 103
In the stresses of daily life, it is important to take a break and think about all the benefits of belonging to Christ—all the blessings and the sometimes-forgotten enrichment that God provides for us.
God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to gift us again with his righteousness. He provides us with the power of the Holy Spirit so that our lives do not have to continue in its sinful patterns. We can depend on the healing of our diseases. Although God sometimes heals in different ways than we have asked for and on a different timetable, he does heal.
God redeems our lives from the pit—from self-centeredness which throws us into the downward spiral of covetousness. He saves us from the pit of depressive disorders that spin our minds downward into the darkest of places. He rescues us as we struggle from the bottomless hell of addictions and the evil attitudes we so readily accept. Christ lifts us out of these pits and presents us to God as pure children—whole and renewed in his sight.
He crowns us with steadfast love and mercy. Steadfast love is the type of affection and compassionate care that we depend on as we grow a relationship with the Saviour. He never betrays us, never abandons us, and never forgets our birthdays (physical and spiritual). His mercy covers our mistakes and our human tendencies to focus on our own timelines and goals. Carefully and gently, he points the way back to truth and orders our days, giving us purpose and value.
God satisfies us with good things. Besides the obvious meeting of our daily needs, Christ often sends reminders of his presence into our private worlds. Most of us live with shops or markets available, with heat on bleak winter mornings, with soft beds. When we live without the threat of falling bombs and the painful rumblings of hunger, we can express our thankfulness. We rejoice that we can worship where we choose and open our Bibles in public places. We are thankful when we can drive across town without snipers watching us from the roofs of cement buildings. We sometimes take these good things for granted, but God remembers to send them and waits for us to bless him—and to trust him when any of those things are threatened.
"The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed" (v. 6) He works through churches, non-profits, and social agencies to secure freedom for all, regardless of sex, disability, and skin colour. He keeps reminding us to seek truth from his Word and serve our communities with the compassion of Christ. He promises justice at the end of time, yet with the same breath, reminds us to forgive and offer the same grace he has offered us.
"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love" (v. 8). Although mankind deserves to see God's justice in various forms of divine wrath, he gives us time to confess and repent—to turn away from our iniquities and seek the renewing mind of Christ. He places Bible verses in our hearts, worship songs on our lips, and the voices of little children to bring us back to his light. In God’s mercy and grace he is slow to anger and abundant with a persevering type of love that forgives and cleanses and forgives again.
The gifts from God are numerous. Our task is to remember and to bless the source, to fill our days with gratitude and praise, to turn our eyes away from the struggles of this life, and to remember whose we are.
Generous God, what nourishment you have given to us. The earth feeds us, sun, wind, and rain refresh us. Families and Friends sustain us in love. It is not only material things you have given us but there is the beauty in your creation, in nature. You have also given us poetry, art and music to entertain and educate us. You have given us the excitement of play in sports and games and time to enjoy quiet relaxation. We are fed and nourished by the very Words of God and nurtured by life in the church and we thank you for caring for us and sustaining us in body, mind and soul.
Loving God we lift to you our brothers and sisters who are hungry because the crops have failed or the well has run dry, and relief has not yet reached them. We pray for those who enjoy worldly wealth but whose souls are parched, whose eyes are closed to the beauty of your creation and whose ears are deaf to your Word. May your church reach out to all as we remember how you fed hungry people with bread and fish and spoke a word of love and reassurance to the rich and powerful. Help us to work for a world where your many gifts to us are shared by all. Amen
© 2020 St Ninian's Parish Church.
Scottish Charity Number SC007453
Scottish Charity Number SC007453