Friday March 8, 2019
Today’s Focus Luther’s Small Catechism
Scripture Reading for the Day Psalm 40
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
5 O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand[a]—
you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
7 Then I said, “Look, I have come.
As is written about me in the Scriptures:
8 I take joy in doing your will, my God,
for your instructions are written on my heart.”
9 I have told all your people about your justice.
I have not been afraid to speak out,
as you, O Lord, well know.
10 I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
11 Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.
Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles surround me—
too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
I have lost all courage.
13 Please, Lord, rescue me!
Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
14 May those who try to destroy me
be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in my trouble
be turned back in disgrace.
15 Let them be horrified by their shame,
for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
16 But may all who search for you
be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”
17 As for me, since I am poor and needy,
let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.
You are my helper and my savior.
O my God, do not delay.
Daily Reflection Elizabeth Eaton,
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Dear Sisters and brothers in Christ,
In this small book (Luther’s Small Catechism) we have a rich treasure for communicating the faith from generation to generation. The Small Catechism gives us common language for engaging the Bible, talking with others about our relationships with God and neighbors, making sense of our callings in daily life, and making witness to Christ in God’s world.
I invite you to open, rediscover and be renewed by this treasure again.
Preword to “Luther’s Small Catechism, Study Edition” Augsburg Fortress 2016
Some Questions for Reflection
- Trust, patience, forgiveness, love. How do these kinds of words inform the life of the psalmist? How do these kinds of words inform your life of faith?
- In times of trial, the psalmist suggests shouting “The Lord is Great!” What do you do in your times of trial?
Today’s Pilgrimage challenge
- Keep your eyes open today for someone you think is sharing the “love of God” with others. In a very simple and honest way, affirm that person for their behavior. Think about how affirming this person made you feel. How do you think your affirmation made the other person feel. Share and discuss with your group.
O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let the design of Your great love shine on the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to Your church, peace among nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.