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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, July 5, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 145:8–14

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. (NRSV)

When I read this psalm in the current state of affairs of our city and country, there were a few lines that stood out to me more so than the others. “The Lord is good to all” and “the Lord upholds all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down.” Though the Lord does this for all people, can we truly say that as a society and people we do the same?

Recent events as well as a plethora of statistics on economic, social, and racial inequity would suggest otherwise. When I watched from my living room window as my local stores were being looted and destroyed, my first reaction was devastation, sadness, frustration, confusion, even anger. But like many people, I have recently been forced to do some hard and challenging reflection. I have never known what it is like to live in poverty, to feel like my voice doesn’t matter, to be judged or racially profiled as a result of the color of my skin, or even for the God that I worship. After reading this psalm, it highlighted to me how much as a society we have failed. We have failed to be good to all, and we have failed to uphold all who fall and raise up all those who are bowed down.

And yet God is great in mercy, and God’s kingdom is everlasting and endures through all generations. So let us be the generation that is truly, fully, and wholeheartedly good to all, upholds all, and raises up all who are bowed down.

Dear Lord, extend to me your great mercy for all the times I have failed to live up to your word and example. Help guide me in my life to be truly and fully good to all, to uphold all, and to raise up all, especially those who are bowed down, so that I may help to create a more just and equitable world for all. Amen.

Written by Stephanie Jenks, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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