Saturday, November 23, 2013

“Before you make a decision, ask yourself this question: will it result in regret or joy in the future?”

“When was the last time you laughed for the sheer joy of your salvation? People are not attracted to somber doctrines. There is no persuasive power in a gloomy and morbid religion. Let the world see your joy and you won't be able to keep them away. To be filled with God is to be filled with joy.” - Anonymous

Scripture Text: (PS 9:2-3, 4 AND 6, 16 AND 19)
R. (see 16a) I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, Most High.
R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.
Because my enemies are turned back,
overthrown and destroyed before you.
You rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
their name you blotted out forever and ever.
R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.
The nations are sunk in the pit they have made;
in the snare they set, their foot is caught.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor shall the hope of the afflicted forever perish.
R. I will rejoice in your salvation, O Lord.

The Psalmist is looking to a future when rejoicing is possible  -- I will rejoice; I will be glad.  Today, though, there is an ambivalence.  The Psalmist claims that enemies and obstacles are overcome, yet it is clear that the work of salvation is still unfinished.  Has God rescued the forgotten needy?  Are the afflicted finally saved? 

In our own days, we might feel a bit of the same.  Looking around, it often seems as though we are with those nations, “sunk in the pit”.  Can we ever get out of it?  And, if we are down in that pit, if our poor are forgotten, and our afflicted perishing, can we rejoice?

In our daily lives we might encounter the simple joys of a good meal with friends, a phone call from a faraway loved one, or just  the beauty of a crisp autumn day.  Today, we wait for the life to come.  Rather than simply dismissing it as an abstract nonsense, or using it as an excuse to avoid the difficult realities of our everyday experiences, we can see God’s amazing grace calling forth the new life in ourselves today.  It can be small or big.  The important thing is that God is here at work, calling us to be children of God, children of life.

And that is why we will rejoice in God’s salvation.  We can look around and see the problems of the day, we can see our poor and needy, our afflicted, our nation and the world stuck in a pit.  But we realize that God is the God of life.  Thus we who are made God’s children are, truly, the People of Life.  Our salvation is precisely in this, that God is the God of Life, not death, “for to Him, all are alive.”

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