Psalm 147 speaks words of comfort to the people of Israel and exhorts them to praise God for God’s power. God’s understanding is unlimited, and our Creator rejoices in those who trust in the Lord’s loving-kindness in any situation. The psalmist assures the people that God’s power is greater than anything else on earth. God is never overwhelmed by upheaval or by any circumstance we may face.

The security of people’s habitation, blessing of children within, peace on the land, and plenty of good food are part of God’s divine provisions. In a world that faces many catastrophes—wars, poverty, life-threatening diseases, and natural disasters—the psalmist affirms that God is the comforter and the provider of all our needs. God is the defender and peace-builder. God heals the brokenhearted and binds their emotional wounds, as well as their physical and spiritual wounds.

One very real question becomes: How does God accomplish these acts of healing and restoration? What is our role in being coworkers with God, offering our talents, gifts, and substance so that lives are healed and restored.

The God of Jacob, Moses, Miriam, Esther, and Isaac is the God who reconstitutes and recovers what has been lost. Our response is to love God, to follow God's commands, and to have faith and hope in God’s mercy. God is the creator and sustainer of life. As God's people, we are to humble ourselves before God who delights in those who fear God and grants them provision and peace. We need not doubt God’s ability. Instead, we commit our lives to God and offer our praises for God’s acts of salvation.

Lord of mercy, my helper, protector, and comforter, give me serenity in all things, and show me how best to offer you my praise. Amen.

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Lectionary Week
December 27–31, 2021
Scripture Overview

The readings for this week are full of praise for God’s gift of Jesus Christ and an emphasis on human helplessness apart from God. Jeremiah portrays an exiled people’s despair turning to joy at their restoration. The psalmist proclaims God’s power to protect and provide for God’s people, and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians explains that God’s will from the beginning has been for our adoption as God’s children through Christ. Praise and thanksgiving to God are the common and appropriate responses to all these mighty acts of God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 31:7-14. How have you been restored by God’s kindness?
Read Psalm 147:12-20. In what ways have you experienced God strengthening and restoring you?
Read Ephesians 1:3-14. How do you set your hope on Christ? How do you live differently because of that hope?

Respond by posting a prayer.