Psalm 119:33-72   5 comments

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POST XLIX OF LX

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The Book of Common Prayer (1979) includes a plan for reading the Book of Psalms in morning and evening installments for 30 days.  I am therefore blogging through the Psalms in 60 posts.

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 226

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This is the second of five posts on Psalm 119 in this series.  The first is here.  The third is here.  The fourth is here.  The fifth is here.

This is my comfort in my affliction,

that Your promise has preserved me.

–Psalm 119:50, TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures (1985)

The psalmist, who is faithful to God and seeking to become more so, is confident in God.  The author, who endures taunts and false accusations, trusts in God during his difficulties, which might result from his faithfulness.

To trust in God during good and prosperous times might be relatively easy.  One might point to one’s good fortune (as some psalmists do) and label them evidence of God’s bountiful grace.  (Or one might make an idol of prosperity and forget that one depends on God fully.)  To trust in God when times are difficult might be more of a challenge.  One might interpret such circumstances as evidence of abandonment by God.  Alternatively, one might learn that the experience of such metaphorical light of grace seem brighter.  Perhaps grace is more plentiful.  Or maybe one simply perceives it better.  Either way, the valley experience might prove more spiritually edifying than the mountaintop experience.

Mountaintop experiences are wonderful.  We need them.  Yet we spend much time in valleys.  Can we recognize the presence of God there?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 21, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN ATHELSTAN LAURIE RILEY, ANGLICAN ECUMENIST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

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