A loving and hope-filled embrace
Psalm 85 (NRSVA)
1 Lord, you were favourable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you pardoned all their sin. Selah
3 You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.
4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation towards us.
5 Will you be angry with us for ever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
so that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.
In the lifetime of many well-known sports personalities and teams, it is not unusual for some to shoot up and slide back down the rankings. For some, it is almost a laughable thought that their team will ever collect silverware or sit at the top of their league, but nonetheless that team or sportsperson come out to play to the best of their ability at every event with their supporters right behind them.
As they do, most teams have songs that supporters sing at the top of their voice, which sing of hope, anticipated success and adoration for their players; songs which are sung irrespective of their position on a table or bank balance; songs which bond the family that follows a team or sports personality though the good times and the bad.
This psalm, a soul song of the time, written following the Jews’ return from exile in Babylon, was sung with hope, patience and uncertainty for all that lay ahead. It is a song of trust — trust in a God of love, who is present and incarnate each and every day through the words and actions of God’s faithful and loving supporters.
May we know the joy of each day
May we appreciate the beauty of one another
May we play our part in revealing to others the joy of knowing you
May righteousness and peace kiss
May love and humility embrace
May justice and restoration hold hands
May we trust you and embrace the life you have blessed us with each day.