Sunday, January 31, 2021

Monday prior to Epiphany 5

 Psalm 13:3–5; antiphon, Psalm 13:6—This psalm of David reflects the believer’s trust in the Lord to deliver him from the tribulations of this world. When we are in misery, the psalm encourages us with the good news that the Lord has accomplished the salvation of those who trust in Him; “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.”- V 5. Our response, then, is reflected in the words of the antiphon: I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Sunday’s readings reflect on the seamy side of life. They coincide with the overall theme for this coming week; “healing for a suffering humanity.” Life can be rough and tough. Suffering, hardship, and adversity are facts of life. This is illustrated in the prayer offered in the Introit for the week.

In the midst of our suffering we reach out to the one who can empathize with us and understand our sorrows namely Jesus the wounded healer to took our sin and suffering to Himself. The Prophet Isaiah predicted this when he wrote “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows; yet we considered Him stricken by God, struck down and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” –Isaiah 53:3-5

The writer to the Hebrews teaches, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  -Hebrews 4:14-16

In the midst of your anguish and distress turn to Jesus for consolation, forgiveness and life.

Collect for Psalm 13: Lord our God, by the light of the resurrection of your Son you have helped us see that we shall not sleep in death forever. Look upon the sufferings of your church, so that our hearts may rejoice in your saving help and sing you songs of praise; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.[1]

[1] Collect for Psalm 13, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book for and by the Church, © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

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