Psalms 120–134 are known as Songs of Ascents, psalms sung by pilgrims on the way to the Temple in Jerusalem. Along the way, people sing their pain and praise. From the depths of despair, someone cries out. The people of Israel make the climb, singing their story of gratitude. So...
Father, sometimes we believe we can resolve all our burdens alone. How wrong we are when we don’t talk with you about what you already know! So often we lack the courage to acknowledge our flaws and our need for forgiveness. From the depths of our souls, we cry out to you. Hear our cry. Amen.
David is remembered in scripture as a mighty king but also as a great poet. Many of the Psalms are ascribed to him. In Second Samuel we find a poem, a song of lamentation over Saul and Jonathan. Saul was violently jealous of David, yet David still honored Saul as God’s anointed king. Jonathan was David’s best friend, and David bemoans Israel’s loss of these two leaders. The author of Psalm 130, although probably not David, appeals to God in David-like fashion. The Gospel reading takes us in a different direction, showing the power of a woman’s faith. In Second Corinthians, Paul deals with practical matters. The Corinthians had promised to send financial help to the believers in Jerusalem. Now that pledge needs to become a reality.
• Read 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27. When have you acknowledged, upon his or her death, the value of a person you deemed an enemy?
• Read Psalm 130. When have you cried out to God from the depths of your despair? What was God’s response?
• Read 2 Corinthians 8:7-15. When have you lost enthusiasm for a project that had originally ignited your interest and best efforts? How did you rekindle that interest?
• Read Mark 5:21-43. What has been your experience with God’s plans and timetable?
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