To the Church in Exile,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today’s meditation is from Tim Burgess:
This is a rough time for our city, our country, and our world. Nothing like this virus pandemic has happened in our lifetime. The Spanish Flu of 1918 hit Seattle hard; note the picture of Seattle police officers wearing face masks before going on patrol.
But, even in times of fear, stress and uncertainty, our lectionary passage from Psalm 150 reminds us to continually applaud God, to acknowledge God’s work.
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
As we move through the weekend—let’s remember that the Psalms are filled with the joys and disappointments of life, the successes and failures, the ups and downs. They are filled with urgent petitions to God for relief, for comfort, for salvation. They are filled with confessions and confusion, with anger and despair. Yet in Psalm 150, the last Psalm, we are instructed to remember God’s goodness and grace and mighty works. Every living creature—everything that has breath—is to praise God in the middle of it all.
So, lift your voice in gratitude for God’s holiness and his mighty works. Yes, even in a time of fear and worry, sing praises to God.
Hear my voice as I praise you.
I lift my voice in gratitude for your mighty works and your forgiving grace.
I praise you for all of your creation and thank you for allowing me to enjoy it.
I praise you for seeking me out, for forgiving me, for giving me meaning and purpose beyond myself.
I praise you for your holiness, your goodness, and your love for everyone.
Hear my voice as I share my petitions.
I pray for all of those who serve us through their work, including our health care workers, our first responder police and firefighters, and our government leaders, all of whom are stretched thing and doing their best. Bless their work.
I pray for those who have been impacted by the coronavirus—the people who have been laid off, those who are working long hours helping others, and especially the people who have the disease. Bless all of these people and heal those who are ill. Restore their bodies, revive their spirits.
I pray for those who are struggling to keep their heads up and meet their daily needs—the poor, the unemployed, the homeless, our most vulnerable neighbors. Bless these dear people and meet their needs.
Receive my praises and petitions, dear God.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.
Peace in Christ,
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: We will gather online this Sunday at 10:00 am – more info on Bethany’s homepage HERE. Looking forward to connecting with you then!