Spirit & Life

Faith Filled Focus

Psalm 147:1-11
Praise the Lord!
It is good to sing praise to our God; it is pleasant and right to praise him.
The Lord is restoring Jerusalem; he is bringing back the exiles.
He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds.
He has decided the number of the stars and calls each one by name.
Great and mighty is our Lord; his wisdom cannot be measured.
He raises the humble, but crushes the wicked to the ground.
Sing hymns of praise to the Lord; play music on the harp to our God.
He spreads clouds over the sky; he provides rain for the earth
and makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives animals their food and feeds the young ravens when they call.
His pleasure is not in strong horses, nor his delight in brave soldiers;
but he takes pleasure in those who honour him, in those who trust in his constant love.

Reflection

How good it is to sing praise to our God!…Sometimes, though, it seems an impossible task. This wonderful psalm has been spoken or sung over many generations. It speaks of new beginnings, so relevant as we enter 2021, where our churches are experiencing new ways of being. Last year, COVID restrictions changed how we express worship and ministry. It didn’t stop our living faith. Our new normal may be different from previous expressions, but our faith can carry us through these times if we so choose. Our psalm speaks of God healing broken hearts and bandaging wounds, of raising the humble and providing rain for the earth that makes grass grow again in unexpected places. In chaplaincy, I have seen those who have travelled through the worst experiences grow to delight in the day that greets them. The psalm reminds us that it is not just being ‘strong and brave’ in the constant battle of life, which honours God. Rather, no matter what each day brings, as a faith-filled, humble and kindly family of God, we are called to work towards nurturing all living creation: to enable a realm where even ‘grass’ may unexpectedly grow, where community, equality, equanimity and togetherness flourish. God calls us to life that has a faith-filled focus, allowing God’s light to shine through our hearts and souls, and inform our daily living. Our church family is called to constantly reframe our living to match God’s loving in this moment and space.
Trust in God’s constant love.

Faith Filled Re-focusing prayer (sitting alongside Matthew 25: 34b-40)
God of the quietness, refocus my faith.
My soul has hungered for you and you have fed me.
When parched and dispirited,
your refreshing Spirit flows through me.
When uncertain and alone, you draw me homeward.
Even as tides of raw emotion sweep me into whirlpools,
you surround me and hold me;
When I feel completely spent,
you give me space to grieve and weep.
In the darkest spaces of my days, your light glows, awakening me to possibilities.

 
Refocus my faith-filled living, Loving God,
For I am travelling a bumpy path.
As fragile as the wild grasses,
I have moved with the blustering breeze.
Open my soul to hear your song in these winds of change,
so your music resonates loudly in my soul,
and my living reflects your giving.
I stand in your realm
that has been prepared ever since the creation of the world,
and have received your nourishing love.
I hear your call to live my faith every day
and care for all of your creation:
to welcome, feed, nurture, protect, remember, care,
and live my faith each day,
focusing my faith-filled life with and through you. Amen

© Rev Anne Hewitt, 03/02/2021
this reflection & prayer may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.

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1/76 – 80 Sturt Street, Adelaide

Please ring beforehand for appointment.

Rev Anne Hewitt
eo@churchestogethersa.org.au
0475 016 789

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