Friday, July 31, 2020

July 31, 2020 – Friday prior to Pentecost 9 – Proper 13

Psalm 136:1-9 – This Psalm is suggested for this Sunday. The theme of thanksgiving continues in the suggested Psalm for this coming week. It is a liturgy of praise to the Lord as Creator and as Israel’s redeemer. Verses 7 to 9 echo Genesis 1:16, And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.

The Lord’s steadfast love endures. His goodness is expressed in the works of His creation. This psalm is absolutely unique because its refrain is repeated at the end of each verse: “for his mercy endureth for ever”. The psalm was no doubt sung antiphonally with the people responding with the refrain. The word mercy is important in the Psalter. It refers to God’s loyal love for His people.

We need to be reminded often of God’s goodness because the enemy repeatedly tries to get us to doubt it, especially in times of trials. That’s why Peter warns us, in the context of suffering, to be on the alert because our adversary, the devil, is seeking to devour us (1 Pet. 5:8). It’s during trials that the enemy whispers, “If your God is so good, why is He letting you suffer like this? Why doesn’t He deliver you?” Peter tells us to resist such temptations, firm in our faith, knowing that the God of all grace will perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish us (1 Pet. 5:9-10).

God of everlasting love, through your Word you made all things in heaven and on earth; you have opened to us the path from death to life. Listen to the song of the universe, the hymn of resurrection, sung by your church, and give us your blessing through Jesus Christ our Lord. [2]

[1] Hosanna copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
[2] For All the Saints A Prayer Book For and By the Church Vol. II © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau New Delhi, NY  

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