The opening verse of Psalm 107 is repeated as a refrain many times in the text: “O give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” No matter our struggles and deficiencies, God’s hesed—steadfast love, loving-kindness—never comes to an end. In the Hebrew scriptures the word hesed occurs 248 times. Most of those occurrences are in the Psalms, where prayers and songs describe the relationship between God and people. God’s people do not escape the hard times that others suffer, but their trust lies deeper than catastrophe. Through it all, God’s steadfast love remains present.

Recently, hurricanes have destroyed thousands of homes and countless possessions in my state—North Carolina—and fires in California have ravaged thousands more. Natural disasters do not differentiate between good, faithful people and those who do not have faith in God. But those who trust in God’s loving-kindness have a perspective of hope. The prophet Habakkuk bears witness to where his hope lies: “Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food . . . yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:17-18).

Thanksgiving plays a huge part in the worship of Israel, especially in the Psalms, which were sung and often accompanied by musical instruments, marching, and dramatic presentations of events. So it is appropriate that the refrain keeps repeating in various forms: “Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind” (v. 21). Despite our sufferings from violence and natural disaster, God’s love remains steadfast, and we can offer the same refrain: “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Loving God, thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Matthew 23:1-12

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Leccionario Semanal
October 26—November 1, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

The book of Joshua tells the story of the return of the Israelites to the land promised to Abraham. They have escaped captivity in Egypt by a miraculous crossing, and now they enter the land in a similar way. Psalm 107 speaks of God gathering the people from distant lands and bringing them out of the desert into a land of plenty. It is a poetic reflection on the experience of the Israelites. Paul often experiences resistance from various sources. In a defense of his integrity, he points to his actions as proof of his virtue. Jesus reminds us that we can do the right thing for the wrong reasons. If we act in order to draw attention to ourselves, then even good deeds lose their luster in God’s eyes.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Joshua 3:7-17. When have you had to trust leaders for the good of your community?
Read Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37. Recall difficult times in your faith journey. How did you experience God’s steadfast love through these times?
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13. What daily practices give you insight into God’s Word? How do you encourage others in their life of faith?
Read Matthew 23:1-12. Do your leaders live what they preach? If you are a leader, how do you strive to live the gospel?

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