Sunday 14 June 2020

Yesterday we were dealing with illness: I spent an undue time being reassessed for a new kind of contact lens, both me and one son have been physically ill, and we have friends struggling with major health issues. Even more friends are worried sick about their businesses. They are having to cut staff, or close up completely. How then, many would say, can we see God’s goodness?

When I was, after a week of visual impairment, able to seek Kea’s face and when I get the salary — I now praise God fervently, because I cannot assume I will have these indefinitely. There is still God’s goodness, though as a society we seem to be throwing anything good away in the manner of Toddler throwing toys out of a cot.

Collect One

O God,
the strength of all them that put their trust in thee;
Mercifully accept our prayers;
and because through the weakness of our mortal nature
we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace,
that in keeping of thy commandments
we may please thee both in will and deed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Church of Ireland

One of the other things I praise God for is music. There is much bad news around. It drives me not to despair bu anger, and to manage this I listen to canned stuff. Better it is when I play it myself. Given the Psalm for today, I’m starting with a hymn that was sang when I was a child.

I should add that my Dad hated these hymns. He wanted something more joyful, higher tempo. He introduced scripture in songs to the services, and from that came an appreciation of simply written stuff. T Hat all could handle. There is a place for the complex and beautiful, but there is a place for that which all can croak. It is perfectly good to praise God out of tune: in my experience, in worship, the bum notes end up harmonizing.

Psalm 100
A Psalm for giving thanks.

100 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Romans 5:1-8

5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Kea is reading the social media. She reads to me from the Facebook “Two thousand years ago Jesus ended the debate of which lives matter. He died for all”. We should praise God for this: he cares not a whit who we are and what we have done. He calls us all.

And he then sends us to witness, beginning with our family and town, and extending to the world.

He has done this since he commissioned to apostles to make disciples. In this time of crisis, there are may who are finding that their status, their wealth, their nation, their power groups have crumbled. May they turn, like us to Christ.