Psalm 119:17-32 (NRSV)
Deal bountifully with your servant, so that I may live and observe your word. Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. I live as an alien in the land; do not hide your commandments from me. My soul is consumed with longing for your ordinances at all times. You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments; take away from me their scorn and contempt, for I have kept your decrees. Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. Your decrees are my delight, they are my counselors. My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to your word. When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes. Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Put false ways far from me; and graciously teach me your law. I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your ordinances before me. I cling to your decrees, O LORD; let me not be put to shame. I run the way of your commandments, for you enlarge my understanding.
My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
- Psalm 119:28 (NRSV)
WHEN I was told about someone who was hospitalized near where I live, I decided to visit him. He was an elderly man who lay in bed staring off into space. I introduced myself and got no response. After a long, silent visit, I prayed with him and promised that I would visit again.
What would I do when I saw him again? Then came a thought: read the Bible to him.
During my next visit, I read several Bible passages. As I read, the man stopped staring off into space and began looking at me. By the third visit, we were having a conversation.
I am amazed by the power of God's word. It can touch people's souls, open their hearts, and build relationships and communities.
Prayer: Dear God, show us how to be messengers of the good news. Help us reach out to people who are isolated, to freely express your compassionate and healing message. We pray as Jesus taught us, saying, "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."*
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
If we listen, God's word can change our lives.
Those in hospitals
By Robert D. Sorozan, New York