Be With Me

Scripture Focus: Psalm 34.18
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
     and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Reflection: Be With Me
By Erin Newton

In the kingdom of the heavens, no suffering is unknown;
 each tear that falls is holy, each breaking heart a throne.
 There is a song of beauty on every weeping eye —
 for there is One who loves me: His heart, it breaks with mine

These words, which bring me to tears every time, are from the song “Little Things with Great Love” by Porter’s Gate.

At the end of this summer, just a few weeks ago, my mother died. For six years, I limped along this journey of anticipated grief, knowing that her cancer was incurable. I became accustomed to sadness. It was simply a part of my life.

Many of us carry the weight of grief, pain, suffering, trauma—all sorts of sadness—with us every day. Instead of a passing feeling, it becomes a state of being. Grief is an unwelcome guest that lingers too long and too close.

Psalm 34 speaks of deliverance from fear and salvation from troubles. It was the plea of my anguished heart. I like to avoid sadness. Bottling up emotions, avoiding all sad movies, and never lingering too long on tragic events—this was my way of living.

Now I have learned that we get to grieve deeply because we have loved deeply. The weight of our sadness reflects the hope of a beautiful life that has been tragically altered.

What is never mentioned in the psalm is the absence of trouble. It is not praising God for a carefree life. As much as I want to escape heartache, suffering is part of living.

But we are not alone. God is near to the brokenhearted, the completely broken and crushed soul.

In the last days of my mom’s life, I would step out of the car and take a deep breath. I had to go in there and sit by her bed, counting breaths as they labored and slowed. I knew I had to go inside. There was no choice. “Dear Lord, can you go in there with me?” And he did.

I have known the depths of pain, but I have felt the strength of God’s presence. My mom could hear songs “like a choir” and felt an unseen hand rest upon her shoulder. God is near to us.

If there is any way I could talk to my mom now, I’d let her know I’m doing okay. Because I’ll never be alone.

Music: Little Things with Great Love,” by Porter’s Gate

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
…come to me speedily, O God. You are my helper and deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry. — Psalm 70.5-6

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
1 Kings 14 (Listen 5:22)
Psalms 34 (Listen 2:14)

Read more about In the Face of Grief
None of Christ’s followers had to leave their sorrow behind for Jesus to come to them.

Read more about The Grace of Holding Space
What is most needed in these times is a willingness to simply “hold space” for another.

The New Day :: Worldwide Prayer

Psalm 34.1-3
I will extol the Lord at all times;
   his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
   let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
   let us exalt his name together.

Reflection: The New Day :: Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

Every year, the dark of Winter begins to recede as the light of Christmas comes. The Church set the celebration of Christmas at the point of the winter solstice specifically for the teaching metaphor astronomical science provided.

Easter however is set around a historical date and time. Easter and the dates directly related to it, are the only celebrations of the church year that happen on the dates they actually occurred.

Easter’s date, at least at the beginning, was related to the date of Passover, which was set, not by any calendar of modern or ancient man but, by God. In many ways, Easter is the true beginning of the Church year. It is where the fresh newness of life springs up. It is where the root of the church sprouts.

So, although most of our readers are not blessed with the tropical climate of Trinidad, we join today in this joyous prayer, thanking God for the return of life, the return of warmth, and for the strength to walk into a new day with all its struggles and challenges. As this prayer asks, may we worship, slow down, and live in fruitfulness.

Prayer of joy for a new day from Trinidad
Lord, on this new day you have given me,

Let me worship you…
With thanksgiving for the life giving warmth of this tropic sun
In song with the morning wind rustling the leaves
In dance with the chatter of birds and the buzz of bees

I praise you for these songs and sounds of joy.

Lord on this new day you have given me,

Slow me down…
Lead me to restful retreats in the midst of this busy life
Guide me to truth and protect me from sinful dangers
Uphold me as a living sign of your presence in my life.

Let me be eager to tell of your eternal goodness.

Lord on this new day you have given me,

Let me live…
By your grace to face the challenge and the hardships.
With your joy to celebrate that all things come from you.
With divine compassion to reach all those who need your love.

I pray for the fruit, gift, and fullness of your Holy Spirit.

In the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I pray.

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he has done for me. — Psalm 66.14

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Leviticus 27 (Listen – 4:45) 
Psalm 34 (Listen – 2:14)

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Read more about A New Day :: Worldwide Prayer
Every day is a new beginning
Every day is a new challenge
Every day is a new opportunity
Every day is a new invitation to trust you…

Read more about The Eighth Day
The first day of the week, most commonly called the Lord’s day—the kyriaka or dominica—was taken as a celebration of the three great events of salvation history: creation, resurrection, and consummation.