HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH
A Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, May 11, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online atand will remain available throughout the day and the week.
For a printer-friendly version of today’s devotion, please click DDGN 20200511
Good Morning! It’s May 11. It’s kind of a gray day out here this morning, which is perfect for our Daily Dose of Good News. We’re going to read Psalm 102:1-17. It’s a prayer to the Eternal King for help. It says here, a prayer of one afflicted, one faint and pleading before the Lord.
1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call.
3 For my days pass away like smoke,
and my bones burn like a furnace.
4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
I am too wasted to eat my bread.
5 Because of my loud groaning
my bones cling to my skin.
6 I am like an owl of the wilderness,
like a little owl of the waste places.
7 I lie awake;
I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9 For I eat ashes like bread,
and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of your indignation and anger;
for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
11 My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.
13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favor it;
the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold its stones dear,
and have pity on its dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For the Lord will build up Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
and will not despise their prayer.
Here ends the reading.
I realize Mother’s Day was yesterday, and for all of us who have been sheltering in place for about two months now, that might have been a hard one. I don’t know what traditions you have with your family or with your loved ones that you may not have been able to do yesterday. I don’t know who among you has potentially lost a parent in recent times or who longs to become a parent and is struggling in that space. Or who has relationships that they wish were different, closer, better, easier- however you might label that yourself. So in this passage, there are several images used to evoke those feelings of sadness and of loneliness. I like the owl imagery particularly. The owl of the wilderness, alone, on the rooftop of the house, because from that vantage point, an owl would feel far away from everything. Everything would seem remote and distant, untouchable. We’re not able to embrace each other the way we would like, whether that’s our church family, our immediate family, our extended family, our friends; and I think our bones ache for that. The idea that our days pass away like smoke, dissipating in the wind, I think we can relate to that with this pandemic. Our hearts are stricken and withered like grass. In all of that, in the midst of such deep sadness and pain and loneliness being voiced, knowing that Jesus understands all those things- loneliness in particular. As Jesus was denied and abandoned and forsaken in His crucifixion, and in His time in the Garden of Gethsamane. God understands loneliness. God understands loneliness so well that God started by putting human beings together in the Garden of Eden. God understands the need for companionship in our souls. In the end of this passage, the psalmist is crying out to God for compassion. Because the psalmist is deeply sad. The psalmist talks about even holding the stones dear of the place where the psalmist lives and is from. They want God to have compassion on Zion. They want the people to feel close and connected to their God and to know that their God will have pity on them and will care for them. Becasuse, it is time for favor. Our God is enthroned forever. Our God is mighty and compassion is coming. Whether that’s in the pandemic or whether that’s in your own personal life, know that God sees you, God knows your sadness, and loneliness, and pain, and whatever is before you. God listens to the prayer of the destitute. So today, know that in whatever sadness or aches of your heart you might bring to God, God hears them. And although you may feel like an owl, alone and distant and remote from people, God hears you, God knows your prayers, and God will have compassion. And that’s Good News. Enjoy your day everybody.