Father, I lift my eyes up from my own concerns, whether petty or overwhelming, to praise You.
Read PSALM 146:1-10
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Trust people, but not too much. Yet there is a Person, One above all others that we may trust absolutely. He is Jesus Christ, the God-Man in whom dwelt all the fullness of the eternal God” (A. Leonard Griffith). Thanks be to God!
The last five psalms all begin and end with the same words: “Praise the Lord” (Hallelujah in Hebrew, though we use that word in English today with a wider range of meanings).
In the Ancient Near East everyone worshipped some god or other. They were conscious that so many things were beyond their control–the weather, the safety of the city, crops, health, and children. Different civilizations worked out their own rituals for keeping these gods favorable towards them and also looked to earthly kings for their well-being. Do we imagine, now, that we have all these things under our control? Or do we look to secular twenty-first-century gods for our security?
How blessed we are to know that God–the God of Israel–is altogether different from theirs. He is not one among an array of gods, not even among the gods worshipped by different religions today. Those who imagine that different cultures all have different gods and that all are parallel have made a categorical mistake when it comes to Christianity. God created everything. He is unique.
What we have next is a list of people who are weak–the oppressed, the hungry, prisoners, the blind, those bowed down, foreigners, widows, the fatherless–and God’s provision for them all. How fitting that this reading should come today, in a sequence in Luke’s gospel that will show us Jesus healing just these people. Of course, real life is more complicated and for many of us, myself included, our prayers aren’t answered so easily. Even so, we know that when the kingdom that Jesus inaugurated has fully come there will be no more pain, no suffering and no tears. Our God is a God who brings justice, sets us free, upholds us and loves us all. That is our hope. Even now, praise the Lord!
Whatever your circumstances, praise the Lord!
Lord of Heaven and Earth, I bow before You, I trust You. You alone are worthy of my trust and devotion.
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