One of the Psalms set for this morning was the first 12 verses of Psalm 147 (thought to be a Psalm in its own right by some) It begins with these wonderful words ‘Praise the Lord, How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!‘ I say my prayers every day, the last few days have felt different as I have said them behind closed doors in the Parish Church on behalf of the community. Morning and Evening prayer involves praising God as well as asking for his comfort, healing and peace. I am reminded again what a great privilege this is.
The Psalm is full also of God’s promises for those who turn to him, for those whom he loves ‘ He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.‘ it reminds of his power ‘ He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.’
In these unusual and troubling days here are real words of hope, we beleive in a God who can bring forth the stars at night, we believe in a God who ‘covers the sky with clouds .. supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.’ This is our God to whom I pray and in whom I trust.
Yesterday I wrote of what it meant to be ground sure and steadfast in God’s love and today I am reminded of the person and character of God, of his mighty strength and power, today I am reminded of his promises, that he ‘delights in those who fear him and put their hope in his unfailing love.’ In the days and weeks to come this is the God in whom we must trust, a God who made us, loved us so much he sent his son to die for us and then beat death forever by raising him from the dead.
As I sit in the Parish Church alone I am reminded of the last time we were together in here and the Community Centre, the last hymn we sung together resonates with me today and still hangs in the air beginning as an epic prayer for guidance:
Guide me, O thou great redeemer, Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty, Hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven Feed me till I want no more;
Open now the crystal fountain, Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar. Lead me all my journey through:
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer; Be thou still my strength and shield;
and then it ends with a reminder that God is in charge, death is beaten so we need not live in fear but in faith:
When I tread the verge of Jordan, Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell’s destruction Land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises, I will ever give to thee;
Let us pray to our great redeemer for guidance, rest assured in his might and his power and trust together in his unfailing love.
Yours in Christ