God, if you don’t come to my rescue, l am going to die” is a lament frequently heard in the Psalms. Freud said that the fear of death is the great motivator in life and is one common-
ality among us all. We seldom speak with our loved ones about death. We’re a little superstitious—afraid that if we mention death, death will hear us. We think that if we don’t talk about dying, death won’t notice us or our loved ones. However, some people long to have just such a conversation with their loved ones. They and we want to feel sure that when death comes, someone knows our heart and will be our voice when we can no longer speak for ourselves. A movement called Dinner with Death opens with the topic of our rst experience of death. We have to start our hard conversation about death by pulling back the curtain.
The only one who can save the psalmist is God. He asks for God’s consideration and attention largely so God won’t be embarrassed by the enemy’s humiliation of the psalmist. God’s sovereign power is at stake. If God does not revitalize, the psalmist will “sleep the sleep of death.”
Death is certain, but is it the nal word? And is it a con- versation the psalmist wants to entertain? When Christians talk about death, I hope we hear the whispers of the One who has much to say: the Word of God that took on esh, the light that the darkness will never overcome, the shepherd who promises provision, the resurrected one who tells us not to fear. Death has been swallowed up in victory, and we will hear the trum- pet sound. And clearly by verse 5, God has come to save and the psalmist’s heart rejoices in God’s salvation. No doubt the psalm- ist heard God’s whisper: “I’m right here.” Have we?

Today I shall have a hard conversation about my expectations of the Holy One and God’s action in my life. I will listen to God’s promises.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 10:28-31

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Lectionary Week
June 26–July 2, 2017
Scripture Overview

Not only is God’s call on Abraham unthinkable, it jeopardizes the long-delayed but now-realized promise. Yet in the end, Abraham’s faith and God’s grace prevail. Psalm 13 is the classic example of a psalm of complaint. It shows that a prayer of complaint is a vigorous, active form of hope in God. Thus the psalm moves from a situation of need to a resolution in joy and confidence. In the passage from Romans 6, Paul juxtaposes three pairs of opposites: sin versus righteousness, freedom versus slavery, and wages versus gifts. For Paul, sin is a power that exceeds the abilities of human beings to contest. Only God is a match for the power of sin. We cannot earn or achieve eternal life; it is a gift from God. Matthew 10 makes a strong claim about the identification of believers with Jesus and, in turn, with God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Genesis 22:1-14. We do not often face such demands from God as the one Abraham faced. What hard situations has God called you to? What hard conversations followed?
• Read Psalm 13. The psalmist asks God to pay attention and take his situation seriously. When has that been your request of God?
• Read Romans 6:12-23. When have you felt like a scout earning merit badges for God? How has obedience from the heart helped you reorient your life?
• Read Matthew 10:40-42. What “cup of cold water” might you offer to someone in need?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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