Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Common English Bible
A psalm. A song for the temple dedication. Of David.
30 I exalt you, Lord, because you pulled me up;
you didn’t let my enemies celebrate over me.
2 Lord, my God, I cried out to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 Lord, you brought me[a] up from the grave,[b]
brought me back to life from among those going down to the pit.
4 You who are faithful to the Lord,
sing praises to him;
give thanks to his holy name!
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
In a way, Psalm 30 is about resurrection. I’m not talking about the death and resurrection of Jesus. I’m talking about the deadness we sometimes experience throughout our lives before we die and the resurrection from that deadness to new life. Clearly, the psalmist hasn’t died—at least not in the literal, physical sense. But he says, “Lord, you brought me (“me” may also be translated my soul or my life) up from the grave (“grave” translates the Hebrew word sheol, which is incorrectly translated as “hell” in the King James Version of the Bible. Sheol is simply the place of the dead) brought me back to life from among those going down to the pit.”
In the New Testament we also have this understanding of God who resurrects us to new life. When we are experiencing brokenness, what we generally want is a reversal of what is going on or what has happened or who we have become. What God desires to bring about in our lives is a new thing. It may not be what we want to happen. It may not be what we hoped would happen. It may not be a restoration of the way things were before.
God brings about resurrection, not just resuscitation—and there’s a difference. Resurrection means new life, resuscitation means that the old has been restored. But, because God resurrects, God gives new situations, new surprises, that we had never anticipated—things that we may never have imagined. “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation,” says Paul, “Everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Death and resurrection are not just about something that happened a long time ago—they are the way that the New Testament speaks of new life. They are a present reality. Today you can die to the old and be resurrected to the new. Today you can be “resurrected,” lifted up to new life.
The psalmist experienced that kind of newness of life, so he could rejoice:
I exalt you, Lord, because you pulled me up; you didn’t let my enemies celebrate over me. Lord, my God, I cried out to you for help, and you healed me. Lord, you brought me up from the grave, brought me back to life from among those going down to the pit. You who are faithful to the Lord, sing praises to him; give thanks to his holy name!
There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.
1 Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art.
Visit us with thy salvation;
enter ev’ry trembling heart.
2 Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into ev’ry troubled breast.
Let us all in thee inherit,
let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be.
End of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.
3 Come, Almighty, to deliver,
let us all thy life receive.
Suddenly return, and never,
nevermore they temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.
4 Finish, then, thy new creation;
true and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee.
Changed from glory into glory,
till in heav’n we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love and praise.
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