Psalm 90 vs 13 - 14 (ESV)
“Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
We have never known a period of sustained good weather as we enjoyed in March, April, May and into June, all through the spring lockdown in fact. That was one thing that enabled us to see the grace of God in difficult times. I wonder now though what we learned collectively through those months. The medical people and scientists a lot about the disease perhaps, politicians and people in general, hmmm....., maybe not a lot if we take the behaviour of some in recent months as a measure.
There must be a better way to manage our return to something like normal community life but as yet we haven’t discovered it and perhaps even now we can’t rely on everyone to take sensible steps. Is that everything though, is that all there is to it or do we need to look deeper at our priorities as a society and especially our lives as Christians and the church. Perhaps it is time for us at least to listen to the word of the Lord through the prophet Haggai to the exiles making a new life in Jerusalem. “Give careful thought to your ways.” Of course, the circumstances then and now are different but maybe the need is the same to turn from a “me-centred” life and live to God’s glory.
I made mention yesterday of Psalm 90, but all this week verse 13 and 14 of the psalm noted above have been in my thoughts and this perhaps should be our prayer for ourselves and on behalf of our families, neighbours and the country. Perhaps the Lord will bring this pandemic to an end and turn our hearts to him and that turning will be an opener to God doing something new in our community. The people of Haggai’s time responded appropriately, Haggai comes close to the end on the Old Testament and there was then 400 years of silence, nothing was heard from God, but then the angels announced to the shepherds “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord.” God acted in an unprecedented way and stepped into human history, incarnate in Jesus his Son.
As we approach the Christmas season, as we tread this new path, a society stumbling to find our way, as God’s people can we not take on our hearts and on our lips this prayer? “Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”