Psalm 118:1,14,17 and 19
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!...
The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation…
I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord…
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
As we enter the season of Advent and celebrate the coming of Emmanuel, God with us, that celebration is not expected to be quite as jubilant as some previous years. We all have a lot to deal with this year. Our Thanksgiving was more limited last week than most of us would have preferred. We are all continuing to deal with Covid concerns, both individually and collectively. Family routines are being adjusted, and we are all looking for stability.
The verses from Psalm 118 remind us to rely on God’s steadfast love. The Advent period of preparation can help us regain some of that stability we are longing to experience again. Pastor and author John Gugel offers a collection entitled: Cries of Faith, Songs of Hope that addresses many different needs, and provides comfort and encouragement during tough times in life. I would like to share the following prayer that I found to be helpful.
“What does the future hold, Lord? What will become of me? Why do I find more questions than answers? Where are you, Lord? Do you care? Send me your Spirit. Give me confidence in your great promises and unwavering hope in your lavish mercy. Let me feel your tender compassion. Be with me, Lord. Lead me into the future where you are. Grant me a living faith and, by the strength of your arm, lighten my load. Cheer my heart, sustain me by your mighty power, and lead me in the paths of your own choosing.” Amen.
O Christ the Healer
O Christ, the healer, we have come to pray for health,
to plead for friends.
How can we fail to be restored
when reached by love that never ends?
Pastor David Brosnan