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: One of the challenges of faith for me, is remembering my role in God’s plans. I trust that God is at work. I have faith that God desires my participation in building the kingdom. I don’t think God is depending solely on me to accomplish God’s good future (this is good news!) But I do resonate with the idea that God’s future calls forth my active effort — that God desires the work of my hands and feet — and that this might be more for me and my soul than for the results. Not that I must do good works in order for God to bless me — rather, my desire to grow in faith and to serve God comes as a result of God’s presence in, and call on my life.
In theological language, we call this process sanctification. God is at work in us through the power of the Holy Spirit, as we grow in grace, living out our faith. When I get too tired, or stuck in the idea that God is in charge, I forget that God wants me to grow in grace as I work towards the kingdom. When I get too anxious and stuck in the idea that I am in charge, I forget that not everything depends on me. God’s got the future. Reading Scripture helps me find the balance in the middle. I read the words of the Psalmist and want to serve the God described here. The Lord, who created heaven and earth is also intimately involved in the lives of the creatures who inhabit the earth. God, who keeps faith forever, is at work for justice, for freedom, for healing. God feeds the hungry, protects the stranger, cares for the widow and the orphan. How does God do those things? In most ways, through the active participation of God’s people.
Today, may you find a balance between faith in God’s future despite you, and faith that God has a role for you in building that future. For you, and all God’s children.
Prayer: Lord, I don’t know what the future holds, but I know you hold the future. Help me grow in grace, trusting that you are at work for good. Help me be part of your mercy and love for others around me. 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].