The Lord has heard my supplication. Psalm 6:9
As I began to contemplate the scripture readings for this Tuesday of Holy Week Lenten Devotional, the background was saturated with news of the January 6 storming of the US Capital, national anxiety about the spread of COVID19, the mounting death toll and anxiety about obtaining the vaccine. I followed my usual practice of first reading the New Testament , thinking that would provide my inspiration. Nothing seemed to be “it” until my last reading, the assigned Psalms, led me to footnotes in my Annotated Edition of the Oxford NRSV. The Psalm 6 verses were annotated as a penitential prayer for “Healing from a severe illness.” The Psalm 12 verses were annotated as “Prayer for deliverance from personal enemies.” Those selections from the Psalms stimulated two thoughts and insights. First was the truth of 2nd Timothy 3:16 that all scriptures are useful and second that the faithful have always turned to God in times of fear.
Certainly, we all understand the effects of a severe illness and unfortunately too many of us have personal connections or experiences that have made COVID 19 anxiety a prominent feature of all our lives. We have all experienced the effects of the virus on St. Paul’s, Ivy. YouTube, Zoom, and drive in church became part of our spiritual lives. Thinking about this, I thought of these early, Old Testament Jewish followers of Yahweh who, without the blessing we have of the of New Testament record of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, turned to Yahweh in times of trial. My reading and thinking led me to think that my “Thanks Be to God” after scripture readings should have a mental addition of thanks to the faithful servants who have given us the record of God’s love for us and in Lent, special thanks for the record of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
Prayer: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done.”