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Sixth Thursday

LISTEN

READ
Psalm 31:9-16

CONTEMPLATE
Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside Church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now.

Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.

Psalm 31:9-16
1 You are my shelter, O Eternal One—my soul’s sanctuary!
Shield me from shame;
rescue me by Your righteousness.
2 Hear me, Lord! Turn Your ear in my direction.
Come quick! Save me!
Be my rock, my shelter,
my fortress of salvation!
3 You are my rock and my fortress—my soul’s sanctuary!
Therefore, for the sake of Your reputation, be my leader, my guide, my navigator, my commander.
4 Save me from the snare that has been secretly set out for me,
for You are my protection.
5 I entrust my spirit into Your hands.
You have redeemed me, O Eternal, God of faithfulness and truth.

9 Show me Your grace, Eternal One, for I am in a tight spot.
My eyes are aching with grief;
my body and soul are withering with miseries.
10 My life is devoured by sorrow,
and my years are haunted with mourning.
My sin has sapped me of all my strength;
my body withers under the weight of this suffering.
11 To all my enemies I am an object of scorn.
My neighbors especially are ashamed of me.
My friends are afraid to be seen with me.
When I walk down the street, people go out of their way to avoid me.
12 I am as good as dead to them. Forgotten!
Like a shattered clay pot, I am easily discarded and gladly replaced.
13 For I hear their whispered plans;
terror is everywhere!
They conspire together,
planning, plotting, scheming to take my life.
14 But I pour my trust into You, Eternal One.
I’m glad to say, “You are my God!”
15 I give the moments of my life over to You, Eternal One.
Rescue me from those who hate me and who hound me with their threats.
16 Look toward me, and let Your face shine down upon Your servant.
Because of Your gracious love, save me!

This is a Psalm of David. Another Psalm caught between joy and despair. A need of grace and a celebration of who God is and that he rescues. We carry the reality of sin and grief over our wrongdoings. And celebrate that we serve a great God who is there ready to forgive. We live in the tension of uncertainty in life and future while holding into the peace promised by Jesus to those who have been made righteous.

Jesus was a man well-acquainted with living in the tension of life. On the cross, only moments before he dies, he repeats a line from this Hebrew prayer. This line was one that fathers may have prayed over their families, and that little Hebrew boys learned. Verse 5 says, “I entrust my spirit into Your hands.” They were trusting their families and their futures to God with this prayer. Looking for the peace that only God can give in the uncertainty of life.

Jesus hung on the cross and prayer this same prayer to the Father. A prayer that had been echoed through generations of people putting their trust in God. There was no uncertainty in Jesus future but there was suffering and trusting the Father in what he was doing.

We can all learn to follow a set of rules to live by, but we won’t ever really have the peace of an uncertain future until we really know the Father and know Jesus. We can’t just live a to-do list. We live in relationship with Jesus. And trust that He is there through it all. Never turning his back on us. And walking with us however slowly or long it make take us to follow his ways.

PRAY
Caught between joy and despair, we yearn for the fulfillment of God’s desire beyond the brokenness and neediness of this life. We offer thanksgiving for God’s presence with us and petitions for the transformation of the church and the world.

Life-giver, Pain-taker, Love-maker, day by day you sustain the weary with your word and gently encourage us to place our trust in you, awaken us to the suffering of those around us; save us from hiding in denials or taunts that deepen the hurt; give us grace to share one another’s burdens in humble service. Amen.

WRITE and DISCUSS

  1. What have you learned over the last few weeks about holding joy and grief together?
  2. Do you trust Jesus with your future and uncertainties? Why or why not?
  3. Write a prayer of confession for those things you are not trusting Him with.