Monday, September 14, 2020

September 14, 2020 – Monday prior to Proper 20

Psalm 116:12-13, 15 - Antiphon, verse 17: I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.” – This psalm is a song of deliverance from death. David or another king such as Hezekiah may have written it. (See Isaiah 38:10-20)

Isaiah sets the tone reminding us Hezekiah was sick and near death.  Isaiah the prophet went to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.'"

The King responds, “In the prime of my life must I go through the gates of death and be robbed of the rest of my years?   Death is no respecter of persons. It will strike at any time to persons young and old alike, even those in the prime of their life.

Hezekiah had looked forward to a long life, and to a prosperous and peaceful reign. Then he became ill and everything changed. Sickness often has this effect on the minds of people. It changes our focus.

Hezekiah did recover and went on to purify and repair the Temple, purged its idols, and reformed the priesthood. He is one of the kings mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. (Matthew 1:10)

Recovery from illness, from trauma and stress can have a profound effect on people. It brings back to our memory the times in which the Lord was with us as we recall His guiding hand.  

Today is Holy Cross Day. A day we remember our Savior; the wounded healer who carried our sin and sickness to the cross. Isaiah would later write, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” -Isaiah 53:4-6

As you recall the mercies of your Savior respond with words of praise and acts of mercy to your neighbor. For the Lord has had mercy upon us.

Prayer for Holy Cross (September 14)Merciful God Your Son Jesus Christ was lifted high upon a cross that He might bear the sins of the world and draw all people to Himself. Grant that we who glory in His death for our redemption may faithfully heed His call to bear the cross and follow Him;[1]
Prayer for Psalm 116God of power and mercy, through the Passion and resurrection of your Son you have freed us from the bonds of death and the anguish of separation from you. Be with us on our pilgrimage, and help us offer you a sacrifice of praise, fulfill our vows, and glorify you in the presence of all your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. [2]

[1] Collect for Holy Cross, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

[2] Collect for Psalm 116, For All the Saints A Prayer Book for and by the Church Vol.2 © 1995 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

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