Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Psalm 146:5-10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
This is one of the passages of scripture that describes what brings deep happiness. The key is, according to this Psalm, is where you place your hope. If your hope is placed in whom or in what is untrustworthy, then there is no happiness. Happiness comes from trusting and placing your hope in God.
Take a look at the description of the provision of God and the work of God in the lives of people. It begs the question: what is the primary means by which God does these things? How is there justice for the oppressed? How are the hungry fed? How are those who are bowed down lifted up? What about the strangers, the orphans, and the widows? The answer is to be found in both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament. It is through people faithfully following what scripture makes clear that these things happen.
A good question for us today is this: “Am I an instrument in making life better for others and in helping to alleviate suffering?”
The Prayer of St. Francis puts it like this:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster