Click here to read the Reflection
Today is my last reflection before the New Year, when I shall be taking over from Derek the task of sending out these emails. I will be sending a test one to make sure it works as expected, so look out for that next week. From the New Year the pattern will be reflections on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with the recorded service available on Sunday. For today I have chosen the Psalm set for Thursday morning.
Psalm 30.1-5, 11-end (NIV)
I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you.
Now wasn’t that uplifting? The psalmist has clearly been at a low point, but now he is quite joyous, praising God, for ‘you lifted me out of the depths’. God can do that, can’t he? No matter what depths of despair we may find ourselves in, God can lift us out of it and bring healing to our souls, if we can but put our trust in him.
When things do not go well, it is easy to blame God, the psalmist seems to think that his troubles come when God is angry but ‘his anger lasts only a moment’ while ‘his favour lasts a lifetime’. How comforting is that? In these difficult times with all the uncertainties that surround life living with the constant threat of Covid-19, to know that God will be with us for a lifetime is just what we need to be able to dance with joy! So like the psalmist, do not keep it to yourself, but tell all those you meet!
So we pray:
The Collect from Advent 3 (alternative)
God for whom we watch and wait,
you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son:
give us courage to speak the truth,
to hunger for justice,
and to suffer for the cause of right,
with Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen