The psalmist affirms, through national and individual thanksgiving,
God’s providential deliverance. Verses 1-7 call Israel
to acknowledge God’s power in bringing the people out of
Egypt; verses 8-12 call the “peoples” to offer praise to God for
seeing them through trials; verses 13-20 offer an individual’s
thanksgiving upon entering the Temple to fulfill his vows to God
for God’s intervention and saving grace.

Often we experience difficulties; we feel backed against the
wall by circumstances; burdens overwhelm us. Yet, just as God
kept Israel “among the living” and brought them to a “spacious
place,” God provides the same support to us today. God’s care
takes us to new places and experiences.

In some ways, verses 13-15 sound like bargaining with
God for favors. Yet, the psalmist’s promises are heartfelt—verses
16-20 describe the psalmist’s deliverance. Three key concepts
stand out in these words: (1) God hears our prayers; (2) God
does not reject our prayers; and (3) God’s love remains steadfast
and constant.

“Has not let our feet slip” in verse 9 is my favorite phrase
in today’s passage. In January following bilateral knee replacement
in August, several inches of ice coated my pathway to the
carport. The inconvenience of being trapped in the house was
secondary to my fear of falling and damaging the surgeon’s masterpiece.
Friends reminded me to stay in the house; a neighbor
risked his own bones to fetch my mail. After two weeks, the
neighbor and I agreed to try and loosen the ice. As we worked
with a hoe and a snow shovel, the neighbor reminded me not to
slip on the ice. Sure footing was important on the ice but sure
footing is important in all of life. God alone provides that kind
of assurance and protection.

Thank you, Father, for your ongoing providential deliverance! Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 14:15-21

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Lectionary Week
May 15–21, 2017
Scripture Overview

The psalm and the Acts reading address the ways in which the concrete faith claims of the community have credence outside that community. They undertake to make the faith credible to outsiders. On the basis of personal testimony, the psalm invites the nations to share in the new life given by God who has saved. Paul makes concrete confessional claims about Jesus in response to the religious inclinations of his Hellenistic listeners. The Gospel and epistle readings focus on the needs of the church community and seek to offer pastoral consolation. The psalm and Acts readings are a “journey out” to the nations and to attentive nonbelievers. The Gospel and epistle readings are a “journey in” to the life and needs of the church.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Psalm 66:8-20. Recall a time when God did not let your feet slip.
• Read Acts 17:22-31. What are your unknown gods? What are your known gods that become idols in your life? How do they affect your relationship with the God who made the world and everything in it?
• Read 1 Peter 3:13-22. When have you suffered while doing good? What did you learn about God? about yourself?
• Read John 14:15-21. How have you experienced the Advocate’s companionship and guidance?

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