Each day, cell phone company commercials interrupt our television and radio programs to explain why their services are better than those of other carriers. There are many cell phone providers, and most carriers have created maps showing their coverage area. Their maps seek to display not only coverage but also the strength of the cellular data service in comparison to other carriers.
God’s coverage of grace extends across the land and sea. We all experience times when God’s coverage seems spotty, when we feel disconnected from God. But the psalmist reminds us that God offers hope that reaches to “the ends of the earth” and “the farthest seas.” Throughout today’s reading, the psalmist sings of the great reach and abundance of God’s provision. As in yesterday’s reading from Joel, water brings new and abundant life to God’s people. The psalmist writes of God’s sovereignty over creation and God’s using this power to make the earth fruitful and productive. God’s displays of provision are so great that they inspire awe in the most remote places.
Today’s reading reminds us that we can always seek God. When we feel distant from God, we can humble ourselves and go to God in prayer. No matter how far we feel from God, God’s coverage of grace reaches to us. God answers and delivers us, and we can expect God to perform remarkable deeds. When God reaches us in our weakest and most remote places, we can sing for joy together with all of creation.
Gracious God, I am thankful that your reach is far and wide. Your deeds are so awesome there are too many to count. Thank you for answering my prayers. May your grace continue to cover those who feel near to you as well as those who feel distant. In Christ’s name. Amen.
The theme in the readings from the Hebrew scriptures is abundance. Joel speaks of the time of plenty in the land of Israel. This abundance is not only physical, for it includes a generous outpouring of the Spirit of God. The psalmist sings of abundant rains that allows the land to flourish. The hills, meadows, and valleys all sing praise to God. Second Timothy 4 contains the scriptural passage that brings us closest to the death of Paul. The apostle has been abandoned by many, but the Lord stands by him as he faces his likely imminent death. In the Gospel, Jesus warns us about the dangers of pride. The Pharisee in the parable thinks his personal goodness brings favor with God, but God desires a humble heart.
Read Joel 2:23-32. How has rain been a sign of God’s impending provision in your life?
Read Psalm 65. How has God’s forgiveness freed you to participate in creation’s joy?
Read 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18. When has God strengthened you in the face of evil?
Read Luke 18:9-14. What aspect of your life do you need to approach with renewed humility?
Respond by posting a prayer.