Scripture: Psalm 146
Key Verses: (5-9)
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.
Reflection: This time of year many of us are getting our calendars and schedules organized. At the church we are preparing for a shift into fall worship and program times. Families are changing gears and scheduling school and activity details. It takes time, and an attention to detail, to look ahead and be ready for what is coming.
I read this Psalm and heard it through the lens of someone planning for what is to come. There are words of hope for the future here. Hope for a world where justice is done, where the hungry are fed. Hope for a world where those who are bowed down are lifted up, where the blind can see. Hope for a world where all who are bound up and imprisoned are set free. It’s a vision for a future I want to be a part of. Don’t you?
On closer look, though, I realized the Psalmist is not talking just about the future. In Hebrew, the verbs about God in verses 5-8 are mostly participles. They suggest continuous occurrence of an activity or way of being. We are not hearing about what a future God will provide, but about what God is already doing. We are already in the middle of it! This is indeed good news, as well as a call to join in God’s continuing work. May we schedule our lives accordingly.
Prayer: God of the past, the present and the future, our days are in your hand. Open my eyes to your freedom and justice already at work in the world. As I plan my days, help me find ways to participate in your already, and not-yet kingdom. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].