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September 10, 2020

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits – who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2-5

The psalm for this Sunday opens with a call to bless the Lord, and then tells us why we should. The Lord has done great things for us! I was going to focus on verse five, but that would have left out so many of God’s promises. The psalmist praises God for God’s goodness in both life and death. We will be blessed in this life and, when it is over, we will be redeemed from the Pit. One thinks of Paul’s reminder that whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

Verse five caught my attention this morning because of the promise of renewed youth. To fly like an eagle again! Never mind wings, I wouldn’t mind the knees of my youth. But I confess I crave renewal more deeply than in my bones. More than 190,000 Americans have no died from COVID-19, and we now know with certainty that the president intentionally downplayed the dangers. The West burns and the skies turn orange. The damage done to the climate seems nearly irreparable (I read a news story this morning announcing one government agency’s prediction that climate change might lead to economic harm; well, yeah – are we just realizing this?). Oh, and if you missed it, racism is still a problem. I’m tired.

But still will I bless the Lord, for the Lord has done wonderful things. The Lord will continue to do wonderful things. And whether you or I live or die, we are the Lord’s. Today, that’s enough. Come, Holy Spirit, and renew your people and this whole world. Come!

Be well, friends. You are loved.

Holy Lord, we bless your name with all that is within us, even when that doesn’t seem to be very much. Restore your benefits to us, and help us to believe in your promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Bald eagle in Alaska, by Carl Chapman, used with permission.

From → COVID-19

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