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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Today’s Reading | Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord;
   he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
   out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
   making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
   a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
   and put their trust in the Lord.

Happy are those who make
   the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
   to those who go astray after false gods.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
   your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
   none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
   they would be more than can be counted.

Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
   but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
   you have not required.
Then I said, “Here I am;
   in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do your will, O my God;
   your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance
   in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
   as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help 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.

Do not, O Lord, withhold
   your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
   keep me safe forever.
For evils have encompassed me
   without number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
   until I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head,
   and my heart fails me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
   O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let all those be put to shame and confusion
   who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
   who desire my hurt.
Let those be appalled because of their shame
   who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

But may all who seek you
   rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
   say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
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. (NRSV)

Play like its 1908! That is now being printed on shirts seen all over Chicago and that certainly sums up the attitude of every Cubs fan. Those of us who are Cubs fans have waited patiently since 1908, and it is nearly impossible to believe it, but this may be the season when the waiting is finally over. Of course, many Cubs fans will never believe it until it really happens. They have been close before, only to be jolted at the last minute. I think of my wonderful grandparents sitting in their backyard in Jackson Center, Ohio, listening to Cubs games for decades, all the time waiting, just waiting.

The psalmist writes, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” Waiting patiently for the Cubs or for most anything does not come easily to me or, I imagine, to most people. But in the waiting we sense our own weakness, our yearning and our truest needs. Waiting allows us to discern what is really important, and ultimately nothing matters more than our relationship with God, the loving and eternal one. God is always there waiting for us, and we only need to take time to be in union with God. That unity with God can bring hope in the darkest moments, peace in times of struggle, and comfort even in times of affliction. There is nothing more important than waiting for God, listening for God, talking with God, because that is where all truth and strength can be found. That is where all desires are fulfilled. That is the beginning and the end of the journey. God is our true home, and our journey with God begins by just waiting.

Loving God, be with us in our waiting and in our knowing. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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