Today's Lectionary Text
Psalm 71:8-10My mouth is filled with your praise,
glorifying you all day long.
Don’t cast me off in old age.
Don’t abandon me when my strength is used up!
Yes, my enemies have been talking about me;
those who stalk me plot together:
I was recently drawn to these verses from Psalm 71 — in part, I believe, because “old age” is looming! As I write these words, I am just days away from my 70th birthday. I remember my mother saying on her 70th birthday, that she felt “old” for the first time. I don’t feel particularly old yet, but the number certainly gives me pause – and I know that far more years are behind me than I will see in the future.
While the psalmist (presumably David) seems to have concerns about enemies who were plotting against him, he recognizes that God is the one who has the power to carry him through. I do not see enemies around me, plotting my demise, but I do know that as I look back across the years God has never abandoned me when my strength was lagging. I have felt God’s hand leading me through significant health issues, the deaths of family members who were my greatest emotional support and making my way through seminary 25 years after I graduated from college.
I do not spend all day, every day, glorifying God, as the psalmist does, but there is not a day that goes by in which I do not praise God and give thanks for the days of my life — both the good days and the not-so-good days. I do not fear that God will “cast me off” or abandon me because I have known God’s presence through so much of my life!
As I see it, we all have a choice as to how we approach whatever time we have left on this earth. We can worry about those who might wish us ill. Or we can look at how God has walked with us through the life we have lived thus far, and trust God will continue to support, sustain, and encourage us in the days ahead.
Prayer for Reflection
Holy One, remind us, each day, that you have traveled through life with each of us this far and that you can be trusted to walk with us throughout the rest of life. Amen.
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