Today's Scripture Reading
Into Your Hand I Commit My Spirit
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
31:1 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
3 For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;
4 you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
15 My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
16 Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!
In the US, devastating tornados have hit too many communities in April and May. Yesterday I heard a chaplain from Joplin, Missouri crying during his radio interview. Another man admitted on the radio that, while he and his family are planning to rebuild, they will continue to shed tears off and on for a while. It’s not common in our culture for people to cry in public, especially men. But what a normal and honest response to loss and pain.
“O Lord, I seek refuge … Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me ... Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love”
Yet there is a kind of hope in even the vulnerable cries of psalms like this one.
“You are indeed my rock and my fortress; … you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God”
Not everyone can see or feel any hope right away in the midst of such suffering. That's okay. There is time. I heard some hope in the men on the radio. The chaplain cried as he talked about the compassion of another chaplain who traveled four hours to Joplin, so that the local chaplain could take time to do his own grieving and not need to be available for others right now. The other man knew that life would move on and that he wouldn’t be crying all the time. Both men were willing to face their loss and to live into a future they may not feel yet.
Jesus knew the hopeful reality of the nearness of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:15) and the grief still present in life (Luke 13:34). During Jesus’ life, he was able to live in that tension and maintain hope. He trusted so much in God’s loving faithfulness that he would not stop proclaiming God’s kingdom to save his own life.
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