Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday in the Fifth Week of Lent

Psalm 31  Jeremiah 24:1-10  Romans 9:19-33  John 9:1-17 

Psalm 31 is a prayer for help that contains some of the most memorable images in the Bible. The psalmist asks God to be a “rock of refuge,” a “strong fortress,” to rescue him from “the net that is hidden for me,” to “set my feet in a broad place.”

The psalmist’s image of himself is equally vivid. He’s a total wreck! “My bones waste away,” he says, “my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing.” People flee from him, he’s such a “horror.” He even hears people plotting to kill him. This is not just somebody with a bad hair day. Things are so bad, in fact, that he feels “far from [God’s] sight,” as though God has abandoned him. But God does hear him. The psalmist says:

I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have taken heed of my adversities,
and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy.

He has been rescued from the net, sheltered in the strong fortress that is God.

How or why did that happen? The psalmist says, in the midst of his difficulties, “I trust in you, O Lord. . . . Let your face shine upon your servant/ save me in your steadfast love.” He begged God for help because he trusted in that abundant, never-failing love. That love is there for us, too, if we’ll just reach out for it.

— Anne Ribble

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