Spirit & Life

Cradled in Steadfast Love

Ps 107: 1-3. 33-37, 43 and John 3: 16-17
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    those he redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.
 
He turns rivers into a desert,
    springs of water into thirsty ground,
a fruitful land into a salty waste,
    because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.
He turns a desert into pools of water,
    a parched land into springs of water.
And there he lets the hungry live,
    and they establish a town to live in;
they sow fields, and plant vineyards,
    and get a fruitful yield.
 
Let those who are wise give heed to these things,
    and consider the steadfast love of the Lord.

Reflection

It is good to read the whole of this psalm, a narrative that calls people to take heed and seek understanding. God is present in all of life situations. Encompassing many of the highs and lows in our human story, including the reactions and attitudes, this psalm ultimately calls people to see the constant and unfailing love of God. All people, from the east and west, the north and the south, are called to gather and listen. God is steadfast in journeying with us, gathering us to a place of safety, rest and love. It quenches our thirst for justice and peace; our righteous toil bears fruit that nourishes family and community, in body and soul. God offers opportunity to establish a place of belonging that is nurturing, sustaining and ‘feeds’ community, in spite of all that life brings and all our human foibles. This psalmist understanding is refreshed through the revelation of Jesus’ sacrifice and steadfast love…

John 3: 16-17:

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its saviour.

Prayer – Cradled in Steadfast love

God of eternity and this moment,
how predictable are we, your people!
Across millennia…

We lose sight of being your own,
wandering into a desert of loneliness and self-doubt with valleys of despair.
You cradle us in love that accepts us as we are.

We strive for greatness, recognition and honour,
chaining ourselves to unattainable standards and failures,
You cradle us in love that accepts us as we are.

We sail into new adventures, leaving behind our sense of community and home
and fall short of the unrealistic dreams we long to fulfil.
You cradle us in love that accepts us as we are.

We abuse power and leadership,
humiliating and disempowering the vulnerable ones in our care.
You cradle us in love that accepts us as we are.

Loving Jesus, your forgiveness is as fresh water to a parched mouth.
Sustaining Spirit, your breath of peace fills our emptiness.
Creator God, your steadfast love sustains our hunger and brings us homeward.
We give thanks for your goodness and everlasting love. Amen

© Rev Anne Hewitt, 10/03/2021
this reflection & prayer may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.

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