The Rev. Canon Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr.
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his compassion is over all that he has made.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your faithful shall bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
and tell of your power,
to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
and gracious in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all who are falling,
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand,
satisfying the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
and kind in all his doings.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
he also hears their cry, and saves them.
Even as most of us have been following the directions that have called for limiting social interaction, social distancing, working from home or remotely, our lives are filled with news updates and reports of uncertainty as we face the ever evolving reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this is an exceptional circumstance, it is not the first time that we have faced unknown conditions, distress and questions about the future. There have been numerous moments in my life where I have opened the Bible searching and listening for wisdom, guidance, encouragement and correction. The significance of the Book of Psalms cannot be sufficiently expressed. The reading of today’s verses of the Psalm helps us to look at the present moment and find comfort, hope and strength that can carry us into the days and moments ahead. It is often difficult to see beyond the present moment but when we are reminded “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth”, we are able to take hold of the future through our actions in the present. While we are moving through this moment and these days, let us remember that God is near and with us in these present moments and will be with us in all of our future moments. This is good news.
Open unto me, light for my darkness. Open unto me, courage for my fear. Open unto me, hope for my despair. Open unto me, peace for my turmoil. Open unto me, joy for my sorrow. Open unto me, strength for my weakness. Open unto me, wisdom for my confusion. Open unto me, forgiveness for my sins. Open unto me, tenderness for my toughness. Open unto me, love for my hates. Open unto me, Thy Self for myself Lord, Lord, open unto me!
(Howard Thurman from “Meditations of the Heart”)