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Monday, September 19, 2016

Today’s Reading | Luke 11:5–13

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)

Reflection
It is a psalm of magnitude, Psalm 103. A psalm of infinite expanse.

From the Pit to the heavens.

As far as the east is from the west.

From everlasting to everlasting.

God’s reach, God’s activity, surpasses all we know, all we might imagine. From the depths of being to the horizons of our worlds to the continuum of time, God is there. God is. And God is at work. Not just then. Not only yesterday. But today. And tomorrow, for, sings the psalmist, ours is a God whose work is not past tense but ongoing, who forgives and heals and redeems.

Who forgives all.

Who heals all.

Who redeems all.

All . . . all . . . all . . . The expanse . . . and the totality.

All his works. In all places. Rules over all.

With steadfast, abundant, abiding love. Now and forever.

So let all that I am, let all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.

Prayer
Everywhere and always you are with me, O God, surpassing all understanding. Arms stretched wide on the cross, enfolding in embrace, lifting us up as those crowned with love, holding the whole world in your hands. For this my soul and all that is within me blesses your holy name. Now and forever. Amen.

Written by Ann Rehfeldt, Director of Communications


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