THE CALL | Matthew 19:14–15 [ESV]
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
Father, all human life bares your image and is a blessing, but we treat some as more important than others. We value each other for our utility, beauty, skill, or entertainment and we treat children as tiresome distractions from our ambitious desires. We neglect the elderly and pretend that we ourselves will never age. We rise up early and go to bed late in order to advance our careers just a little bit more; we are building our own kingdoms where only the strong can survive. Jesus, teach us to welcome the children, elderly, and marginalized into our lives. Holy Spirit, help us to rely on your promises and live within your kingdom, a kingdom of love and rest. Amen.
ASSURANCE | Matthew 7:24–27 [ESV]
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
SING: Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be world without end
Read: Psalm 71
2nd Reading: Psalm 70
(Ps 71:9) “Do not cast me off in old age, forsake me not when my strength is spent.”
I’m writing this devotional as we fly home after a week of vacation with my mother. I also spent the week with my brother and sister and their families for a vacation and family reunion. Watching my nieces and nephews group up while I watch my mother’s continued journey into old age reminds me of the inevitable forward turn of the wheel of time. It makes me think more deeply about the many references to aging that are found in Psalm 71. Neither the author or the circumstances of Ps 71 are listed in the text. But it seems clear that the psalmist is thinking deeply and personally about the processes of aging.
There are several verses that look back on the process of aging from the vantage point of advanced years.
Life has not always been easy for the psalmist, but God has proven to be faithful.
The psalmist prays for continued protection through the aging process.
We are reminded that there is a vulnerability that comes with the aging process. We experience weakness in our body and even in our minds. Isn’t it good to be reminded that God is with us even was we feel the gradual deterioration of our bodies and even the increasing cloudiness of a deteriorating mind!
The psalmist also recognizes that old age continues to bring responsibilities. In particular, the responsibility to pass the faith on to the next generation.
Not all of you reading this know this experientially… yet. But all of us are part of the ongoing drama of Christian faith being passed from generation to generation and all of us know and care about people who experience the vulnerabilities of aging. Psalm 71 not only reminds us of the inevitability of old age, but of God’s underlying faithfulness throughout. Furthermore, it shows us how to pray as we walk through this. (Matt Koerber)
WEDNESDAY-CONTEXTUALIZE | Psalm 127
Consider ways that you can let the Psalm form your imagination, that you might share it with others. Perhaps you can journal about it, write poetry or prose, learn a song, create visual art, or reexpress it in ways that speak to your context. If you are planning to fellowship with other people this weekend, consider how you might share these imaginations with your community.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
Genesis 1:28 [ESV]
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.