URC Daily Devotion 7th February 2021

Sunday 7th February

Psalm 30

All with joyful exultation
let us sing to God our praise;
To the Rock of our salvation
loud hosanna raise.

Lord, we sing with joyful voices;
Your great power can lift and save;
By Your healing touch, revive us,
life restore beyond the grave.

Praise to You, our sure salvation,
You, the Holy One above.
End the night so dimmed by anguish,
with Your light of peace and love.

Change our sorrow to rejoicing,
clothe with gladness all despair;
Cause unsteady feet that stumble
now to dance beneath Your care.

Dry our tears we shed in mourning,
give us steadfast hope always;
Fill our hearts with expectation;
fill our songs with thanks and praise.

Michael Morgan © 1999 Faith Alive Christian Resources
You can hear the lively tune here
https://hymnary.org/media/fetch/150540

Reflection

This Psalm echoes the experience of Job, whose prosperity was plunged into lengthy devastation before he was restored to well-being.  Walter Brueggemann describes the events of this Psalm as representing states of orientation, disorientation and new orientation.  This is the experience which many of us know at times in our lives, and speaks to those back and forth, up and down cycles of confidence and confusion.

Obviously this psalm was written long before the time of Jesus, yet in it we can see parallels with the story of resurrection, which echoes around the cosmos:

Life.
Death.
New Life.

Many of us find ourselves either in the midst of a crisis, or just getting over a crisis, or unaware that a crisis is just around the corner.  Crisis is part of our normal cycle.  Life for most of us has always included death, tragedy, and trauma, and most people experience movement through all these cycles.

As people of faith we have an opportunity to see a bigger picture, a wider meaning that allows us to stand firm with both confidence and humility.  We’re challenged to give credit to God: thanks when things are going well, hope when things are not going well, and praise when things open up into new possibilities.

This doesn’t mean that God moves humans about like chess pieces.  Rather, we believe that our Maker holds everything together and is always working for goodness and wholeness, even when the normal human cycles bring crisis and confusion, we can trust that God is constantly offering hope and new possibilities.

Prayer

God, you have not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God, you have not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But you have promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
.

 

Today’s writer

Rev’d Michael Hopkins, Minister of a group of Methodist and United Reformed Churches based around Farnham, Surrey, and Clerk of the URC General Assembly

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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