Bread – Short

November 10, 2017


Psalm 89

How long, O Lord? … Remember how short my time is! … Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah.”  Ps. 89:46-48 (excerpts)

The Psalmist finds himself in dire straits, at the bottom of the pit, without it appearing to him that God is in sight or even cares.  He yells out to God, “Hey, how long are You going to be before You show up!” And, then, just to make sure God really understands, he yells out “Hey, remember that I’m here on earth on a short period of time!”

Sort of funny, if you think about it, that a man is yelling at God to remember what He created.

He is yelling at God to remember when what he should really be doing is yelling at himself in the mirror to remember.

Remember what?  Well the answers to that question are in our quotation for today.

We need to remember that our time on earth is short and ask ourselves, what are we doing with today?  How are we spending our time?

And we need to remember that the answer to the question of “who can deliver my soul from the power of Sheol” is Jesus Christ, the son of God, begotten not made, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, of one being with the Father…

What is truly amazing about this whole set of questions is that, by man yelling at God, he is actually praying to God and God does respond to prayer often by bouncing the question right back.  When the Psalmist yells at God, “How long, O Lord?” the question rebounds upon man by God asking “How long, O Man, will you ignore Me, disobey Me, dishonor Me, and reject Me.”  When the Psalmist yells at God “Remember how short my time is,” the yell echoes back onto man, saying to man “Do you remember how short your time is.”  When the psalmist yells at God “Who can deliver his [man’s] soul from the power of Sheol,” God throws back the question and says “Who do I [God] say it is.”

This Psalm ends with “Blessed be the Lord forever!  Amen and amen.”  How does a person go from yelling at God in verses just prior to saying Amen and Amen to “Blessed be the Lord forever?”

Maybe because, by praying (yelling) to (at) God, the psalmist is now prepared to hear the response –  “Yes, your time is short.  The who is Jesus.  The when is now.”

_______

© 2017 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

 

Advertisements

Bread – Now

December 31, 2014


Readings for Wednesday, December 31, 2014, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Isa. 26:1-9; 2 Cor. 5:16-6:2; John 8:12-19; Psalms 46, 48

—————————————-

From today’s reading in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation … Behold, now is the favorable time,; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor. 5:17,6:2

And from our reading in John, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12

In the readings quoted above, now is the time to make a decision to either believe or not believe in Christ. The reason is simple – because “now is the favorable time.” There may not be a tomorrow; we may plan our future but our future is really in the hands of God. The past is over and, in and through Christ, forgiven. The present is now; now is the favorable time.

That answers the why now? But what about the why Jesus? He said it most simply Himself – “I am the light of the world.” We can get a lot more detailed than this, explaining how and why, but the essence is stated by Jesus in today’s reading. Why follow Jesus? Why accept Him as Lord and Savior? Because He and no one else is the light of the world.

Now the first half of this Bread is devoted to non-believers, urging them to have faith in Christ now. The second half (to follow) is devoted to believers.

In our readings from 2 Corinthians today, there is more – “All this is from God, who … gave us the message of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” 2 Cor. 5:18-20

We are ambassadors of Christ in the world, carrying with us a message of reconciliation of God and man, begun in the Christmas season we just celebrated and marching toward the cross and the resurrection. Now, what have we done today in our role as ambassador. Have we acted like an ambassador? Have we reconciled ourselves to God, to our spouses, to our children, neighbors, co-workers, and folks we just meet on the street? Are we talking about the good news of salvation through Christ and Christ alone?

Tomorrow begins the New Year. Maybe we can resolve to live now, reconcile now, act now, think now, preach now, love now in this new year. Maybe we can daily wear our mantle as ambassadors of Christ, now. Now without regrets from the past, knowing that in Christ we are forgiven of our many sins; now without worry toward the future, knowing that our hope is in Christ. If we truly lived as Christians in the now, in the New Year, wouldn’t it indeed be a “new year.”

Behold, now is the favorable time. Yes, it is. The challenge is in what we are going to do with it … now.

____________

© 2014 GBF

%d bloggers like this: