Raw emotion and striking honesty with God fill many of the psalms, and Psalm 71 is no different. Save me! Deliver me! Today’s passage is a desperate cry for help. The psalmist isn’t afraid to bare his soul and be completely open with God about his need for deliverance. For many adults though, asking for help isn’t easy. Sometimes one of the hardest things to admit is that we can’t do everything on our own. We so badly want to prove to others that we are capable, independent people who can manage everything quite nicely, thank you very much. We think someone will give us a medal for Most Independent or Juggled Everything Singlehandedly.
Children, however, ask for help much more willingly. My kids never hesitate to ask for assistance with homework or difficult projects. Most children know that they will receive help from a parent when they ask. There is an implicit trust. The psalmist in today’s passage cries out with a childlike faith for God to rescue him. When we follow God’s call, we will face obstacles. Just as in Jeremiah’s day, God’s message isn’t always popular. We will encounter hard times. But just like the psalmist, we can cry out to God to deliver us.
Heavenly Father, help me come to you with the childlike faith that you will help when I ask. Amen.
The readings from the Hebrew scriptures share a common theme of calling. Jeremiah is called at a young age to be a prophet. God knew and set apart Jeremiah even in the womb. The psalmist also expresses confidence in God’s call, because God knew him even before he was born. In the same way, God knows each one of us and has a plan for our lives that is not an afterthought. In this First Corinthians passage (often read at weddings), Paul speaks of love. But this love is not infatuation and is not based on emotion. It is intentional, strong, gritty, and unselfish. In Luke we see that many struggle with the fact that Jesus’ calling is also to serve the marginalized. Jesus reveals that God has a missional heart.
Read Jeremiah 1:4-10. What is God calling you to do? What excuses are you making to ignore your vocation?
Read Psalm 71:1-6. God promises not to make our lives easy or perfectly safe but to be with us when we face challenges and violence. In a world that seems increasingly violent, how do you find assurance of God’s continuous presence?
Read 1 Corinthians 13. God calls us to a vocation of love. How can you be more loving in your daily work or activities?
Read Luke 4:21-30. How do you see God’s call in those you know best? Do you accept or reject the call God has placed on their lives?
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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