Excerpts from Psalm 103:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits –
who forgives –
who heals –
who redeems –
who crowns –
who satisfies –
The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
Sometimes it helps us keep our perspectives in order by remembering where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going. All of us have not expected things to be the ways they’ve been or are. It’s also true that we don’t yet know the end game for current crises. But the benefits described above are things that we do know something about because they have impacted our individual lives, our families, our congregations and communities, and the world itself. So hear as the psalmist implores us to remember – maybe especially when the going get rough and the climb is steep.
I Samuel 16:7 reminds us, “God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Max Lucado, In his book, In the Eye of the Storm, reminds us that God sees us with the eyes of a Father. He sees our defects, errors, and blemishes. He also sees our value. What do you think Jesus knew that enabled him to do what he did? This may be part of the answer, according to Brother Lucado, He knew the value of people. He knew that each human being is a treasure. And because he did, people were not a source of stress but a source of joy.
In our Gospel text from Matthew 15 shared yesterday, the faith and need of a Canaanite woman was such that Jesus did for her as she wished. This is not the first time that Jesus responded to Gentile need, and it is certainly not the last. The point is that what comes from the heart and how it is expressed and lived matters just as much now as then. Don’t be dismayed, trust that you matter; now and for ever.
Hymn 2141 There’s a Song
There’s a song of love in my heart; love is a gift of Jesus.
There’s a song of love in my heart; love is a gift from God.
Alleluia! Love in my heart is singing praises.
Alleluia! Love is a gift from God.
Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our sisters and brothers throughout the world, who live and die in poverty and pain. Give them today, through our hands, their daily bread, and, through our understanding love; give peace and joy. Amen.
Pastor David Brosnan