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Monday, November 25, 2013

Today’s Reading | Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
          and all that is within me,
          bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
          and do not forget all his benefits —
who forgives all your iniquity,
          who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,  
          who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
          so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works vindication
          and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
          his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
          slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
          nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
          nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
          so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
          so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children,
          so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made;
          he remembers that we are dust.

As for mortals, their days are like grass;
          they flourish like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
          and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
          on those who fear him,
          and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
          and remember to do his commandments.

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
          and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
          you mighty ones who do his bidding,
          obedient to his spoken word.
Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
          his ministers that do his will.
Bless the Lord, all his works,
          in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul. (NRSV)


Psalm 103 not only provides a beautiful expression of thanks to God, acknowledging all God does and is, but it paints the perfect picture of the God I have come to know.

I’ve always read the Bible (admittedly more sporadically than regularly), but it wasn’t until I read the book The Shack that I began to truly see the incredible love, compassion, and acceptance in its words. The Shack tells the story of one man’s reconciliation with God, over both the tragic murder of his daughter and over the sin and hatred in his heart. If there was one overriding message that I took from The Shack, it is that God’s love and forgiveness are endless, no matter where we are in life or what sins we have committed. God knows us completely, right down to what lies within the darkest depths of our hearts, and loves us anyway, unconditionally. Psalm 103 expresses the same message of love and acceptance and goes a step further to God’s healing power and the promise of everlasting life and joy.


Lord, thank you for your endless, unconditional love, despite all my sin. Help me to live my life according to your will and to accept your promise of forgiveness and eternal life. Amen.

Written by Patty Donmoyer, Receptionist


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