Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Evening Devotion 7/6/10

The Harrowing of Hell, from the Barberini Exultet Roll, ca. AD 1087

“To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.”
Psalm 28:1

The sorrows of this world and in this world that rise amidst our lives as we find that pain comes so easily in this temporal existence. As they encompass us and overtake us we cannot help but look to the Lord, we cannot help but call out to Him and cry out to Him, knowing that the only answer to the struggles and the challenges of this age comes from His blessed hand, and His encompassing mercy.

Yet so often it seems as if God turns a deaf ear to our struggles and our plights, so often does it seem that God is not there when the darkness of this world rises to rear its ugly head. After all, as the Psalmist writes, if the Lord remains silent then we shall go down like those who have gone to the pits, finding that there is little hope left in this world. What hope is there for the prisoners and the hostages? What hope is there for the captives and the slaves? What hope do those who have been bought and sold, traded for their flesh know? What hope do the poor and the oppressed, the subjugated and the enslaved really know amidst this dark world? What rock do they have to grab a hold of when the drowning force of this world rises against them and they struggle, grasping for air and finding that they have no strength to fight the tides that have washed them so far from the safety of the shores they have always known?

There are times when the Lord’s answers, they seem far distant, far removed from our lives as we look to the world and see the pain and the suffering that this temporal existence can bring in the lives of the people. Yet even as we are left with this lingering silence that feels like it has encompassed us God is calling us, sometimes perhaps just with a whispering voice. He is telling unto us that He has never failed us nor forsaken us and He will not start now. He is telling us that He is our fortress and our rock, our ever present salvation.

It is here that we hear the Lord’s voice, it is calling us to action, it is calling us to do whatever we can for the cause of the freedom for His people. It is telling unto us to make good use of the fruits of His Spirit, and the blessings and gifts that He grants unto us to be an ever present force for righteousness in an unrighteous world that we may make manifest His love and His compassion as we show forth His grace in the lives of His people. It tells to us that God is present when we show the proper care to uplift and to edify those who find themselves in bitter estate and brutal captivity and that His will is done when we listen to His deeper message.

It is then that the voice of God is heard through the nations and through the struggles of the people.

Remember that even in the most ancient of days when God’s hand was more apparent through the transcending miracles that He performed that He still used His servants, His people to reveal His divine hope and His divine will in the world. His voice sounded through this world and in this world through the lives of His prophets and His saints, His faithful elect as they became they were sanctified by Him and brought forth for the deliverance of His people. It is here that even today we are to remember that in the love God has intended and the hope that Christ taught we are to let the Spirit move through us and in us to be the deafening voice of the Lord’s freedom against all tyranny and oppression that would inflict itself on the hearts and the souls, the spirits and the minds of the people that His liberty and justice shall reign supreme...

Lord, grant this understanding unto us all...

Let us pray:

Be not silent in our lives O Lord, be not quiet within our souls. Raise Your voice within us as Your Spirit moves through us and calls us according to Your Word and Your will...

Be not deaf to our cries O Lord, let not Your ear be impaired amidst our pleas. Guide us by the blessings and the hope of our Savior and give us the courage to show forth His love in this dark world.

As Your servants in ancient days heard Your voice and were guided to be this dark world’s light let us too be called according to Your world amidst the plights and the struggles of this present age. Let us be a force against oppression and subjugation, poverty and destitution, slavery and hurt. Let us be used in whatever ways You would have us to set to flight all captivity and bondage, serving Your will that we may break the chains that would so bind the body and the mind, the spirit and the soul.

Be with us O Lord, show us Your ways as we seek to live in deeper calling of Your word for the poor and the wounded, the hurt and the suffering. Magnify in us a courage to rise up and give unto us the endurance and the perseverance we need to be more than we are, all that we may reveal Your grace and be a force for Your freedom in the world that the blessings of liberty may encompass the lives of the people in the most significant of ways.

Let us never stop hearing Your voice O Lord until that time when freedom and justice, until Your blessings has set to flight all wickedness and oppression that would so inflict itself over the hearts and minds, the spirits and the souls of the people.

Then shall we know that we have heard Your voice and abided in Your calling as we have moved in humility according to Your righteousness to stand for those who have been so abandoned to hopelessness, all that hope may be restored in their lives and Your grace shall bring them to the safe shore of love.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

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