January 20, 2020

The reading for today is Psalm 40:6-17.

6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear.

Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.

7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me:

8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;

behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.

10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;

I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness

from the great congregation.

11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me;

your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

12 For evils have encompassed me beyond number;

my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see;

they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord make haste to help me!

14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether

who seek to snatch away my life;

let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!

15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;

may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”

17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me.

You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!

The word deliverer brings many images to mind. The labor and delivery department at the hospital is a place of pain and struggle, but also a place of ultimate indescribable joy. The doctors who work in the oncology units often deliver news that completely changes someone’s life. In school, I am sure my students also dread having to successfully deliver a speech in class. Deliver is a word that can be so powerful in what is can do to our lives. With Christmas just a few weeks past, I remember the excited feeling when I would see a package on my front porch. The anticipation would build as I carried my box into the house to see what “treasurers” lay within. Sometimes it was a real disappointment to open the box to reveal an air filter or some other mundane item. I also think of my brothers, both mail carriers, and how they appreciate postal deliveries because it is job security and how they also dread the additional space, weight and time it requires to deliver these packages.

In this passage from Psalm 40, the psalmist reflects on how he rejoices in knowing that God is his help and deliverer. What a joyous feeling to know that God has declared himself to be my help and protection and to deliver me from my own iniquities, failures and from my enemies. This kind of gift will not fill any box or package, but it can transform us from transgressor and afflicted to one that He will lavishly cover with his mercy, faithfulness and love. What could be better?

Dear Holy Spirit, Please be with me as I face obstacles and difficult times. Help to guide me to turn to You. Amen

Kelly Sperry sperrymo@gmail.com

Prayer Concern: Please be with those who face financial hardship.

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