November 19, 2023
When we are oppressed or persecuted, when we don’t know what to do, when we’ve had enough, we look to you our creator and sustainer for mercy in humble dependence.
As one of the “songs of ascent” your people sang this Psalm as they made their way up to Jerusalem for the major feast days. Surely they were carrying their physical burdens of food and water for the trip but also their spiritual and emotional burdens of loss or of sickness or of fear or of accumulated sin or of burdens of scorn or contempt. They needed to meet with you once again, Father.
They relied on your mercy, and with this little psalm they voiced their trust in you. Although you are enthroned in the heavens you looked on this often wayward and disobedient people with compassion. You understood their pain and offered them mercy. They waited on your mercy for they were lost without it.
Our eyes look to you, Lord our God, till you have mercy upon us. And we know that waiting on you is something we have to bear, Father, for we don’t know when or how you will show your mercy in our pain or oppression. Meanwhile, we wait like the servant waits for his master. We wait like the maidservant waits for her mistress. We wait with our eyes on you at every moment. We wait knowing we have no hope but you. We wait knowing how your goodness has surrounded your people in the past and will surely surround your people in the future.
For all of your people in this congregation who are suffering pain and sorrow and oppression we pray a blessing. Their souls have had more than enough. They may see no end in sight. We wait together with them for your mercy. May their suffering be eased and may your mercy be shown in part by the love and care of the body of Christ that surrounds them as we fulfill your command to bear one another’s burdens. Give us eyes to see the need. Give us wisdom and time and money to meet the need we see. May we look outward with compassion on these brothers and sisters you have assemble here, loving one another as you have loved us, with a sacrificial and everlasting love.
Through Christ our Lord we pray,