This week we will look at the appointed Old Testament text for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost.
May we be blessed as we remember the steadfast love of the Lord which never, never ceases.
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. 26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 27 It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth, 28 to sit alone in silence when the Lord has imposed it, 29 to put one's mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope), 30 to give one's cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. 31 For the Lord will not reject forever. 32 Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; 33 for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.
It would be nice if we were always assuredly aware of the steadfast love of the Lord. That no matter what came our way we would know without a flicker of a doubt that all is well and that we are absolutely secure.
But sometimes come the dark nights of the soul:
Sometimes we forget who it is who truly sustains us and gives us all that we need. We place our hope in illusory supports and even trust our own strength and conniving to dig us out. We get impatient waiting. We stubbornly hunker down in our despair. We find that even youthful strength and chutzpah is no match for the yokes that can crush down so persistently on us. We find ourselves face down in the dirt, smitten and scorned. We might wonder what we have done to cause God to set upon us and maybe even reject us now and forever.
Sometimes the dark nights come but God’s mercies come in the morning. God is faithful. God’s love is faithful. So much more than our failings and shortcomings is the persistent and gracious and restorative love of God.
Sometimes we forget whose we are and who sustains us. But God will never forget us. God continues to pour manna and loaves and fishes and daily bread and everything else we need to live and thrive for God knows that we don’t live by bread alone.
Sometimes we get restless and anxious and our reptilian brains kick in. The lamenter encourages us to wait and trust and to bear the things that have come our way. We are called, with God’s help, to transcend our fears. They will pass. God’s love and good favor will not.
My hope and prayer is that these words don’t speak to you so very much because you are palpably aware that you are good and secure in God’s love. If not, however, may these words offer comfort and hope. God loves you more than you can know. That love will never, never cease. Thanks be to God.
God, continue to sustain us with your steadfast love. We pray that you would shape us into vessels that anoint the hurting world around us with that very same steadfast love. Amen.