Psalm 103:15-19 - This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 8, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” This verse is a summation of the Father’s love and compassion for this fallen world. He desires not the death of the sinner but that all would come in repentance. He desires the redemption of all. Thus He plants the seeds of faith into our hearts; that, by His grace, a harvest may come.
Man’s days are limited; “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone.” The Lord’s reign however is eternal. “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting.”
If we only focus on the present and try to live only in the moment soon we will become frustrated; concluding that life is futile, a waste of time and meaningless. What has been will be and then will be again. Everyone, rich or poor, wise or foolish, mighty or lowly, will live a while and then die. What we have worked so hard for all our lives is left to someone else who may just waste it. The more we have the more we use and the more we want. It all was meaningless and like trying to catch the wind says the writer to the book of Ecclesiastes.
The Psalmist gives us a different perspective. The meaning to life is not found simply living in this world but in anticipating the world which is to come. Life is not to be live in the moment but with eternity as our perspective. What gives true reason for living is when we have respect for God and seek to please him in every way we possible.
For 182 years our church has been granted the privilege to serve the Lord at this place. We have the Lord’s promise that He will sustain us. “His righteousness (extends) to children's children.”
Jesus, in teaching his disciples to pray, asked that the will of the Father would be done on earth as it is in heaven. God’s will is manifest in our lives when we do his bidding and obey his word.
“Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word.”
A prayer before we study the Word – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.
Prayer for Psalm 103 – Lord, you have compassion for the sinner, as a father has compassion for his children. Heal the weakness of your people and save us from everlasting death, that with the saints and angels we may praise and glorify you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Lutheran Service Book, © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and by the Church © 1995 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY
Lift High the Cross copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things