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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Today’s Reading | Psalm 68:1–10   

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
   let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
   as wax melts before the fire,
   let the wicked perish before God.
But let the righteous be joyful;
   let them exult before God;
   let them be jubilant with joy.

Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
   lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds—
his name is the Lord—
   be exultant before him.

Father of orphans and protector of widows
   is God in his holy habitation.
God gives the desolate a home to live in;
   he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
   but the rebellious live in a parched land.

O God, when you went out before your people,
   when you marched through the wilderness,
the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain
   at the presence of God, the God of Sinai,
   at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad;
   you restored your heritage when it languished;
your flock found a dwelling in it;
   in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy. (NRSV)

Family. The psalmist claims that “God sets the lonely in families.” I come from a small family, but it seemed like my father had a cousin in every state. For years I cringed at the suggestion to ‘“stop and see your great-aunt-twice-removed whom you’ve never met”‘ on your spring break travels. I did this. Because they are family.

Last week, we were traveling in Ontario, seeing our good family friends (the best sort of family). On our way back, it had been suggested that I go see my mom’s cousin, who is in a nursing home. I loved this person as a child. Really. I followed her around just to hear her laugh. Yet the likelihood of her remembering me now, in her advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, was not likely. This did not seem like a good idea. I did not want to go. I wanted to drive by. I wanted to ‘“have gone,”‘ but not to take the time ‘“to go.”‘ We went. I introduced myself to her by saying, “Hello, Aunt Allie, it is Katy. I am Lorna’s daughter from the States.” She stared at me for a long moment and then said, “Well, of course you are! You sound just like her!” We laughed and cried and laughed for the next thirty minutes and had a wonderful visit. I was just floored.

I was so happy to have gone. I got the phone number of other ‘“Aunties”‘ in Canada and was surprised when one of them called me five days later. “Oh Katy, I’m so glad that you had a chance to see Allie. She died this morning.”

The psalmist says that God sets the lonely in families. I am so grateful.

Dear God, thank you for my primary purpose—being a member of a family. Amen.

Written by Katy Sinclair, Associate Director of Music for Children and Youth

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