Saturday’s Meditation – Psalm 20
Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with mighty victories by his right hand.
Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall,
but we shall rise and stand upright.
She taught me everything I know, and when I’m really listening she teaches me more deeply. Even now I strive to not disappoint her, as she endures within me. It is he who created her; he saw her and took her measure; he poured her out upon all his works… (Sirach 1:1-11) For the gift of my Mother, I’m forever grateful. I remember, her life is my life.
We try desperately not to go, but every where we turn it just gets worse. With no place left to go, seemingly out of the belly of Sheol (Jonah 1:17-2:10), we cry out in praise because running away was simply a form of complaining. Following Jonah didn’t help the situation, so we accept the call. We wait for the Lord to speak to the messy situation and allow God to pull us out upon the dry land.
Go at once (Jonah 1:1-17a)… to where and do what? You want me to go the very people who have abused, mistreated and disrespected me? In the midst of the worst situations in our lives our first instinct is to get out, to be any place but where we are right now or where God seems to be leading us. Like Jonah we realize; where can we go from the passion for God’s Word within us, which is stronger than our greatest fears, frustrations, or faux pas? Resistance is not an option. Go and let our faith in God’s passion within us be our guide.
I have a closet full of clothes, most of which I bought myself. However, there are some items that were given as gifts. Giving clothing as a gift is a huge risk because you never know if the person is going to like the item. If the person doesn’t like the item they are probably not going to wear it. God has given each of us a gift, not of clothes but the gift of God’s Word. Every day we are invited to wear this gift of God’s Word on our hearts like a wedding garment. One day when all the invitations to the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14) have gone out, we will be wearing our gift and arrive fully prepared and clothed with the garments of God’s Word reflected by our love, righteousness, peace, and justice, for one another and faithfully chosen to sit at the celebration table.
Saturday’s Meditation – Psalm 144: 12-15
Prayer for Deliverance and Security
May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars,
cut for the building of a palace.
May our barns be filled
with produce of every kind;
may our sheep increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields,
and may our cattle be heavy with young.
May there be no breach in the walls, no exile,
and no cry of distress in our streets.
Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.
The Word of God is sown everywhere. The question we must ask ourselves is where are we? Perhaps yesterday we were on a rocky path. Yet active within us is God’s fertile Word nourishing our strengths, strengthening our weaknesses and with patient endurance (Luke 8:1-15), today, we can be found flourishing in good soil and bearing good fruit.
She entered the house alone. With tears in her eyes she cries so intensely, his feet are soiled. So she dries them with her hair and anoints his feet with the precious ointment she carried in her alabaster jar, perhaps bought with the money she’d earned from her activities forced upon her because she was alone. How could he not know who and what kind of woman (Luke 7:36-50) was touching him? Yet, he allows her to touch him.
Today, in some jurisdictions, those who have committed felony crimes continue to pay for their crime by court imposed fees for costs such as a court appointed lawyer, paperwork, DNA collection, and electronic monitoring, to name a few. Essentially they are charged for their use of the criminal justice system, and in many cases forced to carry a legal debt for the remainder of their life. I often wonder how long the woman with the alabaster jar carried her burdens before she poured them out at the feet of Jesus? How heavy must have been the weight of her tears mixed with every ounce of that valuable ointment? How much lighter she must have been once the last drops fell. With God there is no life-long sentence of debt. There is no charge for the use of forgiveness. Our debt is paid in full long before the first teardrop falls.
When I think of the people in my life who are no longer with me, the more I understand and appreciate the message; “…wisdom is vindicated by all her children (Luke 7:19-35).”